Ten men and four women kidnapped by suspected Ugandan rebels were found dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo's restive east, military sources said Tuesday.
"The 14 people who were abducted were found dead and buried" an army source told AFP.
Three civilian sources also confirmed the discovery and attributed the attack to Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels.
The bodies were found in the Beni region of the troubled North Kivu province, which shares borders with Uganda and Rwanda and is currently the epicentre of the latest outbreak in DR Congo of the deadly Ebola virus.
All the bodies showed signs of having been attacked and were in a state of decomposition, said Omar Kavota, head of local NGO Center for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights Studies.
"We deplore the fact that despite warnings about ADF activism in the Beni region, there is still no major military operation to clear the area and dismantle their strongholds," Kavota told AFP.
The ADF is a militia created by Muslim rebels to oppose Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
They have been active in the east of DRC since 1995 and are accused of being responsible for a series of massacres of several hundred civilians since 2014 by the Congolese authorities and the UN mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).
However, in 2015 the New York University Study Group on Congo said it was not just the ADF behind the killings and that other armed elements, including members of the Congolese army, were responsible.
The ADF is accused of killing 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers in Beni in December 2017.
North Kivu, one of the most populated areas of the DRC, is home to a number of armed groups that kill or abduct civilians.