The Rwandan security forces have killed 19 “terrorists” blamed for an attack that resulted in the deaths of 14 people.
“The security forces were able to follow these terrorists, to kill 19 of them and arrest five,” police said in a statement, following the attack overnight Friday in northern Rwanda.
The initial attack on Friday was reportedly carried out by terrorists.Officials suspect that the culprits carried out the killings while searching for food.
The retaliatory attack took place near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, police said.
Armed attackers reportedly went on a rampage with knives, machetes and stones in Musanze district near the Volcanoes National Park, which is popular with tourists for its mountain gorilla sanctuary.
While the death toll was initially put at eight, authorities are now saying that 14 people were killed.
Police spokesperson John Bosco Kabera told AFP that “investigations are ongoing to find anyone else who was part of this attack”.
The area has repeatedly been targeted by Rwandan rebels operating from the DR Congo.
One such group is the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), created by Rwandan Hutu refugees in eastern DRC after the 1994 genocide of Tutsis by majority Hutus in Rwanda.
The group was set up in 2000 to oppose Rwanda’s post-genocide leader, Paul Kagame.
The Congolese army announced last month it had shot dead FDLR commander Sylvestre Mudacumura who was wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crime charges.
Neighbouring Rwanda welcomed the news, saying it proved DRC President Felix Tshisekedi’s commitment to fighting “negative forces”.
Additional Information from BBC
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