At least 25 people were killed in an attack on New Year’s Eve by rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern Beni territory, local officials said.
Farmers had gone to the fields in Tingwe village when they were attacked by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels, according to the representative of the governor in the region, Sabiti Njiamoja.
Some of the bodies were found by rescue teams in the bushes on Friday, he said.
Local civil society representative Bravo Muhindo confirmed more than 25 were dead, adding that many of them were beheaded.
Other people were kidnapped, Muhindo said.
Residents in Beni and surrounding villages have been calling for increased security due to ADF attacks in the region.
The ADF originated in neighbouring Uganda and has long been a threat in eastern Congo.
The ISIL (ISIS) group has claimed some attacks carried out by ADF rebels, but the exact relationship between the two is not clear.
Last year, a Congolese military campaign was launched against the rebels, and fighters have since dispersed and fled into various parts of eastern Congo, where dozens of armed groups fight over control of the mineral-rich land.
Rebels responded to the military offensive with increased attacks, killing more than 800 people last year.