Death toll in east DR Congo church attack rises to 14

AFP , Monday 16 Jan 2023

At least 14 people were killed in a church bombing in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at the weekend, an army spokesman said Monday, raising an earlier toll of 10 dead.

DR Congo
ADF attacks in eastern DR Congo have become more frequent since March 2020. AP


On Sunday, a bomb ripped through an evangelical church in Kasindi, a town in North Kivu province on the border with Uganda.

The DRC government said the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which the Islamic State group claims as its central African affiliate, was apparently to blame.

The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack, according to specialist monitoring group Site Intelligence.

Antony Mualushayi, a Congolese military spokesman, told reporters on Monday that 14 people had died and 63 were wounded, raising an earlier reported toll of 10 dead and 39 wounded.

Uganda's military operation in the DRC said on Sunday evening that 16 had been killed and 20 wounded.

Mualushayi said a suspected suicide bomber was among the wounded and had been transferred to the nearby town of Beni for medical care.

"We pray to God that he lives so that he can give us the information we're looking for," he said.

A Kenyan national was arrested on Monday following the attack.

Mualushayi said that several more people had been arrested and that investigations, which are in their preliminary stages, are ongoing.

"According to the information at our disposal, there are still two bombs that are in the city and we are doing the best possible to detect them," he said.

The ADF is one of the deadliest of the more than 120 armed groups in eastern DRC, many of them the legacy of regional wars that flared at the turn of the century in the vast impoverished nation.

It has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda. ADF operatives have also planted bombs in towns in North Kivu in the past.

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