A suicide bomber has blown himself up outside a packed bar, killing six and injuring 13 people who were celebrating Christmas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tragedy struck on Saturday in the city of Beni, when a terrorist detonated a bomb at the entrance of a crowded bar. According to local authorities, the security guards did not let the suspicious man in, possibly preventing many more casualties.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
RDC/Beni : Attaque terroriste, Cette population sans chef tribal à sa tête n’a que les yeux pour constater les dégâts causés par l’explosion de la bombe, 24 h après aucune aide aucun message de @fatshi13 qui lui est juste un chef tribal. pic.twitter.com/iMh7mHF78A
— K. M. Cyprien (@NewMan87170144) December 26, 2021
#Beni_Est_RDC: explosion d’une bombe au centre ville ayant causé 6 morts et plusieurs blessés. Les autorités de l’État de siège n’ont pas pû prévenir ce drame. Je partage entièrement la douleur des familles des victimes.@VusoloR @DesIndignes, @kavira_nicole pic.twitter.com/0n3Zb4lekY
— Roger Manzekele (@ManzekeleRoger) December 25, 2021
Officials say the death toll could rise, and an unnamed source, cited by AFP, claimed two children were among the victims. Another witness saw an individual leaving the scene on a motorbike shortly before the explosion.
Following the attack, the authorities asked people to return home for fear the terrorists might strike again.
Congolese security forces believe the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is behind the atrocity. The Islamist terrorist group is also active in neighboring Uganda, where it originated in the mid-1990s. After pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in 2019, the ADF has staged numerous deadly attacks in both countries, and is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the region.
The North Kivu province, where Saturday’s blast occurred, has been under military control since May, when the authorities imposed a state of emergency in an attempt to root out the armed militia.