Christmas Day suicide bomber kills five people in eastern Congo

Christmas Day suicide bomber kills five people including two children and injures at least 14 after detonating bomb in crowded restaurant in eastern Congo

  • The bomber killed at least five people as well as himself in Beni, east Congo
  • The bombing targeted a restaurant where more than 30 people were celebrating
  • Officials blamed the Allied Democratic Forces militiaan arm of Islamic State
  • The ADF has not yet claimed responsibility but there have been clashes between the ADF and Congolese forces in the area for months
  • A suicide bomber attacked a restaurant in the city of Beni in east Congo on Natale Giorno, killing at least five people as well as himself.

    Più di 30 people were celebrating Christmas at the packed In Box bar and restaurant in Beni when the bomber struck, according to witnesses.

    Six people died in the blast and 14 furono feriti, with one city hall source reporting that two children were among the dead, as well as two local officials.

    Officials blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia, one of the deadliest armed groups in the region and claimed by the Stato islamico group as its central Africa arm.

    The ADF did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack, but the bombing marks the latest violence in a region where Congolese and Ugandan forces have been engaged in battles with Islamists.

    Più di 30 people were celebrating Christmas at the packed In Box bar and restaurant in Beni when the bomber struck, according to witnesses.

    Più di 30 people were celebrating Christmas at the packed In Box bar and restaurant in Beni when the bomber struck, according to witnesses.

    Six people died in the blast and 14 furono feriti, with one city hall source reporting that two children were among the dead, as well as two local officials.

    Six people died in the blast and 14 furono feriti, with one city hall source reporting that two children were among the dead, as well as two local officials.

    Più di 30 people were celebrating Christmas at the packed In Box bar and restaurant in Beni when the bomber struck, according to witnesses. Beni is located in east Congo, all'incirca 50 miles from the Ugandan border, where there has been months of conflict between the ADF and Congolese forces.

    Più di 30 people were celebrating Christmas at the packed In Box bar and restaurant in Beni when the bomber struck, according to witnesses. Beni is located in east Congo, all'incirca 50 miles from the Ugandan border, where there has been months of conflict between the ADF and Congolese forces.








    Shortly after the blast, Narcisse Muteba, the colonel running the city during the state of emergency in the east of the country, called on residents to return to their homes for Christmas for their own safety.

    Più di 30 people were celebrating Christmas there when the bomb went off, and the remains of tables, sedie, bottles and glasses were seen scattered across the blast site.

    ‘I was sitting there,’ local radio presenter Nicolas Ekila said.

    ‘There was a motorbike parked there. Suddenly the motorbike took off, then there was a deafening noise.

    A police vehicle took the wounded to a nearby medical centre, which was immediately sealed off.








    ‘The suicide bomber, prevented by security guards from entering a crowded bar, activated the bomb at the entrance of the bar,’ the regional governor’s spokesman, Général Ekenge Sylvain, ha detto in una dichiarazione.

    Sylvain said that insurgents from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group aligned with Islamic State, had activated a ‘sleeper cellin Beni to target citizens, but he did not provide evidence connecting them to the explosion.

    ‘We call on people to remain vigilant and to avoid crowded areas during the holiday season,’ said Sylvain.

    ‘In the city and territory of Beni, it is difficult, in these times to know who is who.

    Residents of Beni have repeatedly expressed anger over the ongoing insecurity despite an army offensive and the presence of U.N. peacekeepers (Nella foto: A Congolese boy walks past a wall in Beni, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, aprile 1, 2019)

    Residents of Beni have repeatedly expressed anger over the ongoing insecurity despite an army offensive and the presence of U.N. peacekeepers (Nella foto: A Congolese boy walks past a wall in Beni, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, aprile 1, 2019)








    Saturday’s attack marked the first known time that a suicide bomber has killed victims in eastern Congo, where an Islamic State group affiliate earlier this year took responsibility for a suicide bombing near another bar in Beni who had caused no other casualties.

    Residents of the town have repeatedly expressed anger over the ongoing insecurity despite an army offensive and the presence of U.N. peacekeepers in Beni.

    A giugno 27, a blast from a improvised bomb at a Catholic church wounded two women, the same day a man died when the bomb he was carrying went off.

    Il giorno prima, another device blew up near a service station without doing any damage. The authorities blamed those attacks on the ADF.

    Beni, in North Kivu province on the DRC’s eastern border with Uganda, has been the site of regular clashes between the army and the ADF.

    North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province have been under a ‘state of siegesince May, an emergency measure in which the military has taken effective control but which so far has not succeeded in stopping the attacks from the armed militia.

    'The suicide bomber, prevented by security guards from entering a crowded bar, activated the bomb at the entrance of the bar,' the regional governor's spokesman, Général Ekenge Sylvain, ha detto in una dichiarazione. Chairs, bottles and body parts were seen littering the scene

    ‘The suicide bomber, prevented by security guards from entering a crowded bar, activated the bomb at the entrance of the bar,’ the regional governor’s spokesman, Général Ekenge Sylvain, ha detto in una dichiarazione. Chairs, bottles and body parts were seen littering the scene

    A soldier with the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) is seen at a checkpoint on the Mbau-Kamango road in the territory of Beni as Ugandan and Congolese troops worked to repair a key road in eastern DR Congo ahead of an expected push against the region's notorious ADF rebels (photo dated Dec. 10, 2021)

    A soldier with the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) is seen at a checkpoint on the Mbau-Kamango road in the territory of Beni as Ugandan and Congolese troops worked to repair a key road in eastern DR Congo ahead of an expected push against the region’s notorious ADF rebels (photo dated Dec. 10, 2021)

    A soldier with the DRCongo armed forces travels on the Mbau-Kamango road in the district of Beni on December 8, 2021

    A soldier with the DRCongo armed forces travels on the Mbau-Kamango road in the district of Beni on December 8, 2021

    In novembre 30, the DRC and Uganda launched a joint operation against the ADF in the east of the country to try to quell the bloody ADF attacks. Uganda has also blamed the group for a string of attacks on its territory.

    The ADF was historically a Ugandan rebel coalition whose biggest group comprised Muslims opposed to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

    But it established itself in eastern DRC in 1995, becoming the deadliest of scores of outlawed forces in the troubled region.

    It has been blamed for the killings of thousands of civilians over the past decade in the DRC, as well as for bombings in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

    The Islamic State group presents the ADF as its regional branchthe Islamic State Central Africa Province, or ISCAP.

    A marzo 11 quest'anno, the United States placed the ADF on its list of ‘terrorist groupsaffiliated with IS jihadists.