Congo and Uganda armies claim control of two rebel strongholds

The Congolese and Ugandan armies, which are launching a joint operation against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, announced Friday that they had captured two important rebel strongholds after "fierce battles".
Congolese army spokesman, Captain Anthony Mwalochai, said in a video sent to Agence France-Presse that the two armies had taken control of the two strongholds after "fierce battles on the ground and shelling from aircraft and artillery."
"Our forces were in direct contact with the enemy," the spokesman added, explaining that both armies had been wounded. He stressed that "other (rebel) strongholds that have been identified will be targeted."
The Congolese and Ugandan armies have launched a joint operation since November 30 against the Allied Democratic Forces in Beni, North Kivu province, in the Congolese Ituri state.
The last two strongholds captured are in the middle of the Virunga National Park in southern Beni.
The Allied Democratic Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ADF) have been active since 1995 in the border areas with Uganda, and are considered the deadliest armed group responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians.
Uganda also holds it responsible for recent attacks that were claimed by the Islamic State, which describes the group as its “state in Central Africa.”
On December 19, the two armies announced the destruction of the group's strongholds and camps in bombing operations in several areas in Beni and Ituro.
The Ugandan army confirmed at the time that the operations would "intensify in several sectors, after the terrorists were defeated from their former strongholds."

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