KASESE – At least 17 people were killed and 20 others wounded in a bomb attack during a Sunday service at a Protestant church in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo – DRC.
An army spokesman said the attack during the Sunday service in the city of Kasindi, on the border with Uganda, was likely carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces -ADF – a Ugandan armed group that has pledged allegiance to ISIL (ISIS).
“Despite the security measures put in place, the first indications show that it is the ADF, which was behind this bomb attack,” said Anthony Mualushay.
“I just came back from the scene, where I saw the bodies of children on the ground,” Alain Kitsa, a Kasindi resident, said, describing the atmosphere in the town as tense.
Joel Kitausa, a local civil society figure, put the death toll at a higher number – adding that 27 others had been wounded but no we were unable to verify this particular information.
The ADF, which began as an uprising in Uganda but has been based in the DRC since the late 1990s, has not claimed responsibility for the bombing. It has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda.
Kasindi is in a province where Congolese and Ugandan forces have launched a campaign against the ADF.
It pledged allegiance to ISIL in mid-2019 and is accused of killing hundreds of villagers in frequent raids over the past two years. The ADF has planted bombs in towns in North Kivu in the past.
Since 2021 a joint Congolese-Ugandan military operation has been targeting the ADF in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province.
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.
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