At least five persons and the ‘kamikaze’ himself were killed when a suicide bomber exploded on Saturday, Dec. 25 in Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Local provincial authorities said the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were responsible for the bombing.
“The kamikaze, stopped by vigils from accessing a bar full of people on Christmas day, decided to detonate the bomb at the entrance to the bar.
“The provisional casualty figure is six dead, including the suicide bomber himself and 13 wounded who have been admitted into various hospitals,” said Brig. Gen. Sylvain Ekenge, the spokesperson for the military governor of North Kivu in a communique in which he attributed the attack to the ADF.
A few minutes after the explosion, three shredded corpses were found at the scene of the bomb and the Mayor of the town called on residents who were celebrating Christmas to return to their houses for fear of another bomb attack.
Sources on the scene in Beni revealed that among the dead were two children.
“Among the wounded were two assistant mayors of the Mulekera and Ruwenzori councils,” the military spokesperson said.
“The ADF terrorists who are in disarray have reactivated their sleeping cells in the town of Beni with a view to launching actions against peaceful citizens.”
The kamikaze (suicide bomber) detonated the bomb at the entrance of the “In Box” restaurant situated in the centre of Beni town where more than 30 persons were celebrating Christmas, according to two eyewitnesses.
“Broken chairs, tables, glasses and bottles were scattered around and in the restaurant,”one eyewitness said.
“I was sitting there. There was a motorcycle parked outside. Suddenly, the motorcycle was swept into the air, then there was a very loud noise,” said Nicolas Ekila, an animator with a local radio station in Beni.
A police vehicle eventually took the wounded to a nearby health facility, access into which was immediately blocked from the public.
On June 27, 2021, a locally made bomb exploded in the Catholic Church in Beni wounding two women.
The same day, a suicide bomber was killed when the bomb he was carrying exploded near a bar not far away from a mosque. A day earlier, another bomb exploded not far away from a petrol station but without causing any damage.
Government authorities accused the ADF rebels of being responsible for all these explosions in Beni.
North Kivu and Ituri provinces have been under a state of siege decreed by President Felix Tshisekedi since May 6, 2021 with civil administrators replaced by military and police governors.
The intention to curb or completely eliminate the activities of armed groups in the two provinces does not seem to be succeeding.
The DR Congo and Ugandan armies have been carrying out joint military operations against ADF positions in the two provinces since Nov. 30, 2021.
Support Our Journalism
There are millions of ordinary people affected by conflict in Africa whose stories are missing in the mainstream media. HumAngle is determined to tell those challenging and under-reported stories, hoping that the people impacted by these conflicts will find the safety and security they deserve.
To ensure that we continue to provide public service coverage, we have a small favour to ask you. We want you to be part of our journalistic endeavour by contributing a token to us.
Your donation will further promote a robust, free, and independent media.Donate Here