By Godfrey Olukya
ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo
At least five villages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo controlled by the Patriotic Resistance Front of Ituri (FRPI) militia have been liberated, government officials said Saturday.
In a statement, the government said the villages were liberated after a four-day military operation.
The DRC government was assisted by the UN mission in the country.
The villages -- Sorodo, Masira, Adaba, Pali and Ruzinga -- in the Walendu Bindi chiefdom have a population of 10,000.
Col. Shiko Tshitambwe, second commander of the country’s armed forces in the eastern Ituri region, said two militiamen were killed in the combat and several others were wounded.
“The militiamen are trying to reorganize themselves in several villages with the help of some villagers,” he added.
The FRPI -- an ethnic militia group which was formed in 2002 -- has killed thousands of people, recruited child soldiers, and is notorious for taking sex slaves, according to the government.
Initially it was led by Germain Katanga but when he was arrested in 2004, Baudouin Adirodo took over its leadership.
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