At least 42 killed by suspected Islamists in eastern Congo

BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - At least 42 people were killed by suspected Islamist rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, two officials from the local administration said on Thursday.

The attack took place on Wednesday in the village of Mayikengo in Lubero territory, the officials said.

A spokesman for Congo's army in the region confirmed the attack and said a statement would be issued later.

The attack mirrors a similar incursion earlier this week on villages in the same province attributed to the insurgents that killed at least 80 people.

Lubero administrator Alain Kiwewa said a toll of between 20 and 30 had been reported on Thursday morning, adding that the number was provisional and expected to increase.

He blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group affiliated to the Islamic State that started as a Ugandan insurgency but has operated from the jungles of eastern Congo for almost three decades.

Another local official, sector chief Macaire Sivikunula, told Reuters earlier on Thursday that 25 people were killed including six women. He also blamed the ADF.

He later added that 17 other bodies were found on a road that led to a village market.

The assailants asked residents to gather in a market for a meeting and then attacked the crowd with firearms and machetes, Sivikunula said.

(Reporting by Yassin Kombi, Erikas Mwisi Kambale and Ange Kasongo; Writing by Sofia Christensen and Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by Bate Felix and Bernadette Baum)