Islamic leader slain in east congo after attacks killing 19

Officials in Congo say an Islamic leader in the eastern town of Beni was killed during evening prayers by unidentified gunmen after days of violent attacks by rebels left at least 19 people dead.

According to the head of the mosque, Sheikh Moustapha Matsongani, gunmen came into Beni’s central mosque Saturday, shooting dead Sheikh Ali Amin Uthman, the representative of the Islamic community of Beni.

The identity of the attackers was not yet known. 

Matsongani told The Associated Press that Amin had been receiving threats from the Allied Democratic Forces for more than a year, and had been questioned by security services days earlier about those threats.

Amin had often gone on the radio to denounce extremism.

His attack came on the heels of attacks in villages for days that left 19 dead, according to civil society groups.

The ADF originated in neighbouring Uganda and has long been a threat in eastern Congo. 

The Islamic State group has claimed some attacks carried out by ADF rebels, but the exact relationship between the groups is not clear.

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