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10 killed, several wounded in bomb attack at church in DR Congo

World Monday 16/January/2023 10:32 AM
By: ANI
10 killed, several wounded in bomb attack at church in DR Congo

Kinshasa: At least 10 people were killed and several others got wounded in a bomb attack at a Protestant church in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), said the country's army, reported Qatar-based TV Network Al Jazeera.

Congo army spokesman Anthony Mualushay on Sunday said that the explosion killed 10 people and wounded 39. Both tolls were provisional, he added. According to Mualushay, the attack during the Sunday service in the city of Kasindi, on the border with Uganda, was carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan armed group that has pledged allegiance to the ISIL.

The ISIL group, later on Sunday, claimed responsibility for the attack. The ADF, initially an uprising in Uganda, has been based in DRC since the late 1990s, Al Jazeera reported.

According to eyewitnesses, the blast severed some people's limbs from their bodies.

A campaign has been launched against the ADF by the Congolese and Ugandan forces in Congo's Kasindi province. The ADF pledged allegiance to the ISIL in mid-2019 and has been accused of killing hundreds of villagers in frequent raids over the past two years.

Troops from Uganda's army have deployed to eastern Congo to try to stem the violence, but the attacks have increased. ADF attacks since April 2022 have killed at least 370 civilians and involved the abduction of several hundred more, a report by the United Nations last month said, reported Al Jazeera.

ADF has extended its operation to Goma and into the neighbouring Ituri province.

According to Al Jazeera, more than 120 armed groups roam mineral-rich eastern DRC. Many are the legacy of regional wars that flared at the turn of the century.

India remains concerned about the "volatile security situation" in the eastern region of Congo. Ruchira Kamboj, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, said that the activities of armed groups have continued unabated which has resulted in killings of civilians, displacement of people and caused a "dire humanitarian situation."

"India remains concerned at the volatile security situation in the eastern DRC (The Democratic Republic of the Congo). The activities of armed groups have continued unabated, resulting in killings of civilians, displacement of the population and a dire humanitarian situation," Ruchira Kamboj said.

In her address at the UN Security Council, Kamboj said that India with concern notes the rise in the scale of attacks carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), including the use of improvised explosive devices. She emphasised that the threat of terrorism in Congo cannot be ignored keeping in view the established terrorist links within armed groups. She stated that India has "long-standing relations" with Congo and added that they will continue to support the people of Congo.