Suicide Blast Kills 6, Including Small Child, in Christmas Day Attack in Democratic Republic of Congo

Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

A suicide bomber detonated explosives at the entrance to a busy restaurant in the Congolese city of Beni on Christmas Day as many were still celebrating the holiday.

Six were killed, including a young girl, and over a dozen injured. The bomber is among the dead.

“The suicide bomber, prevented by security from gaining access to the bar, packed with clients, activated the bomb at the entrance,” a statement from authorities of the North Kirvu province read, according to AFP.

A correspondent for the outlet reported seeing the remains of three bodies scattered around the blast site, the In Box restaurant, as well as debris from chairs, tables, bottles, and glass.

“I was sitting there,” a local radio presenter, Nicolas Ekila, told AFP. “There was a motorbike parked there. Suddenly the motorbike took off, then there was a deafening noise.”

Over thirty people had gathered at the restaurant to celebrate Christmas, two other witnesses told the outlet.

The attack is being blamed on the Islamic State-linked terror cell Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which has been blamed for previous attacks on Christians in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In June, two women were killed by a homemade bomb inside a Catholic church. On the same day, a man was killed by a bomb he was carrying and the day prior, a blast detonated at a service station although thankfully, no one was killed or injured.

The DRC, which has been “under siege” from ADF’s violence launched a joint effort against the terror group with Uganda in November.

“The ADF was historically a Ugandan rebel coalition whose biggest group comprised Muslims opposed to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni,” AFP notes. “But it established itself in eastern DRC in 1995, becoming the deadliest of scores of outlawed forces in the troubled region.”

The militia group has been blamed for thousands of civilian deaths over the past decade.

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