The bombing of a church in the North Kivu area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Sunday left at least five people dead and 15 injured.
The “terrorist incident,” according to Congolese military spokesman Antony Mualushayi, took place at a church in Kasindi, a town that shares a border with Uganda.
Social media videos displayed dead bodies in the seats and blood on the floor. Another showed wounded victims being brought outside the church and being cared for by onlookers.
According to Mualushayi, “the security services have already taken control of the area, and the injured have been sent to nearby medical facilities.” He also mentioned that an investigation was ongoing.
Alain Kitsa, a resident of Kasindi, described the tense mood in the town by phone. “I just came back from the site, where I witnessed the dead of children on the ground.”
Army believes Islamists were behind the incident.
In the region of North Kivu, where the church bombing occurred, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which the Islamic State organization describes as its affiliate in Central Africa, are active.
Without offering any proof, Mualushay asserted, “Despite the security precautions put in place, the first indications imply that it is the ADF which is behind this explosives attack.”
The ADF has not yet responded to the assault.
Since the group ramped up attacks in the area in 2014, this would be the ADF’s first strike on Kasindi, according to the territorial administration there, Charles Omeonga.
The ADF is accused of killing hundreds of civilians in repeated operations over the past two years after making a 2019 pledge of allegiance to Islamic State.
In 2021, the DRC and Uganda began a combined military operation to attack the ADF.