A militia group attacked three villages in northeast DR Congo early Sunday morning, killing eight farmers, according to local official Adubango Kivia.
The attack was carried out by members of CODECO, or Cooperative for the Development of the Congo, who also set homes on fire and plundered livestock.
Kivia called on the Congolese army to deploy and secure the population in the area around 100 kilometers north of the provincial capital Bunia.
CODECO claims to protect the Lendu community from the Hema ethnic group and the DRC army. However, the Hema are defended by the Zaire militia, and the area is also targeted by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) linked to the Islamic State jihadi group.
Eastern Congo is plagued by dozens of armed groups, many of which are remnants of regional wars that flared up in the 1990s and 2000s. Ituri province is one of the hot spots of violence, where attacks claiming dozens of lives are routine.
The last attack blamed on CODECO occurred on April 14, killing over 40 people in villages around 60 kilometers from Bunia.