Eighty-one militiamen have been killed by the Democratic Republic of Congo Army since the beginning of October, according to UN radio on Thursday.
It said that 63 were captured and 26 weapons have been recovered during operations launched against the coalition of CODECO and FPIC militias around Lipri, Ngongo, Petsi and Ritsi -- about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Bunia.
Army spokesman Lieut. Jules Ngongo said the army is pursuing the militiamen who are on the run.
“The fighting is also taking place in the villages of Bambu and Kilo, more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Bunia,” said Ngongo. “More than five villages that were occupied by these militiamen are now under the control of the national army which continues to hunt down these armed groups.”
He said the militiamen have taken refuge Nyangaray, 26 kilometers (16 miles) from their defeat.
UN radio said local area chief Claude Mateso hailed the army for a job well done.
The army recently started operations to eliminate militias that have for years attacked villages and looted property./agencies