Over two dozen people have been killed since the start of the year in clashes pitting the Democratic Republic of Congo’s security forces against supporters of a slain tribal chief, a local governor said in a statement.
“The death toll since the start of 2017 is 26 people killed including four civilians, nine members of the security forces and 12 militia fighters,” Kasai-Central provincial governor Alex Kande said in a statement seen by AFP on Wednesday.
The wife of one of the militia leaders was also killed, Kande added.
The latest casualties add to a soaring toll of at least 140 dead in spiralling clashes in central DR Congo since tribal chief Kamwina Nsapu was killed in mid-August, according to the UN.
In a statement last week, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said tens of thousands of civilians were caught in a “cycle of violence” in the mineral-rich nation’s central provinces.