KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Rebels in eastern Congo killed at least 34 civilians in overnight attacks, the latest in a series of deadly raids, a coalition of civil society groups said Sunday.
Members of the Allied Defense Forces rebels attacked three villages around the town of Beni, more than 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Goma, the provincial capital, according to the coalition from North Kivu province.
On his Twitter account, Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, condemned the attack and called for Congolese forces and the U.N. peacekeepers to respond. He said troops from both forces were in the area Sunday.
More than 250 people have been killed in attacks around Beni in the past two months, according to the civil society group.
Eastern Congo is home to a myriad of armed groups and militias, many vying for control of the region's vast mineral resources. The U.N. peacekeeping force is authorized to battle the rebels groups but has been criticized for doing too little to protect civilians.