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Suspected ISIS militants freed at least 900 prisoners from a jail in Congo during a overnight raid, according to reports.
A “coordinated attack” was carried out by armed gunmen in the early hours of Tuesday, according to the local mayor.
Modeste Bakwanamaha, Mayor of Beni, said: “Unfortunately, the attackers, who came in large numbers, managed to break the door with electrical equipment. We believe that it was the ADF who did this.”
The Allied Democratic Forces are a Ugandan armed group who have been active in east Congo since the 90s.
They are believed to have slaughtered more than 1,000 civilians since the start of 2019, according to UN figures, despite campaigns against them.
No group have taken responsibility for the raid.
Only 100 of more than 1,000 inmates remained in the prison following the the overnight assault.
Suspected Islamists attacked the Kanbayi central prison and the military camp surrounding it, Mayor Bakwanamaha said.
Two inmates were shot dead during the raid, which started at around 4:30 a.m. local time, police said on Twitter.
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Police gave a higher figure for the number of inmates – 1,300 – saying a large number had disappeared.
It comes after a similar mumber of inmates escaped during an attack in June 2017.
Kangbayi prison holds a variety of militiamen including members of local defence forces and ADF fighters, according to Reuter.
Bakwanamaha said there were rumours ADF fighters in the prison were preparing a break-out in the days preceding the attack.
Several attacks attributed to the ADF have also been claimed by Islamic State, although United Nations experts have found no evidence of a direct connection between the two groups.
A year ago the army launched a large-scale counter-insurgency campaign against the ADF.
In response, the group abandoned its bases, split into smaller, more mobile groups, and retaliated against civilians.
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