BENI, Congo — Congo’s army says it has captured the largest stronghold for the Uganda-born Allied Democratic Forces rebels in Congo’s northeast.

Capt. Mak Hazukay Mongba, spokesman for Operation Sukola, said Monday the army released hostages and took control of the “grand bastion” of ADF rebels in Mwalika, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Beni.

According to Human Rights Watch, ADF rebels have killed about 1,000 people in the Beni region over the last three years. The Congolese army has captured dozens of rebels including a dozen who were sentenced to death.

A Dec. 7 attack on a U.N. base outside Beni killed 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers in the deadliest single assault on a peacekeeping mission in almost 25 years.

The ADF, which formed in the 1990s, eventually relocated from Uganda to eastern Congo.

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