At least 12 people have been killed in an overnight attack blamed on Ugandan rebels in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a witness and local NGO said Monday.
"I saw four civilians killed by bullets... and seven patients and a nurse cut up by machete at the hospital," a regional official told AFP in the north of the troubled North Kivu province.
A local non-governmental organisation however put the toll much higher, at 30 dead.
The Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO) said the victims included Congolese soldiers but the army has not confirmed the losses.
The mostly Muslim rebels, who have been active in the region since being driven out of their homeland in 1995, are accused of a series of killings which have claimed the lives of more than 450 civilians since October 2014.
The rebels "attacked our positions at Eringeti and we repelled them all night," said a Congolese army spokesman in the region, Mak Hazukay, declining to give any figures.
The Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights said that 14 rebels and a UN peacekeeper were also killed in the battle.