Bomb Explodes at Restaurant in DR Congo, Leaves at Least Six Dead
19:18 GMT 25.12.2021 (Updated: 11:10 GMT 24.11.2022)
On Saturday, at around 7 p.m., local time, a bomb exploded inside a restaurant in Beni, a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Officials have stated that the death toll has since risen to at least six individuals.
Local reports revealed the bomb went off directly after Catholic mass was held and gunshots followed.
Narcisse Muteba Kashale, who serves as Beni's mayor, issued a statement shortly after reports emerged, urging the public to stay away from the area as investigators were called to the scene. "There is a bomb that just exploded in the city centre. For safety, I'm asking the population to stay home," he said.
A subsequent statement by government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya underscored the government's condemnation of the incident and detailed that the event was the work of a suicide bomber.
"The Government condemns the explosion, on this Christmas evening, of a bomb in a Bar in Beni, the work of a suicide bomber," a translation of the spokesperson's tweet reads. "Loss of human life has been reported. The security services are already deployed and the first steps have been taken. We will come back to this in detail."
has surfaced on social media documenting the aftermath of the blast, showing at least three bodies
among the wreckage.
Beni is in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the North Kivu Province. The city of some 230,000 has been the site of multiple attacks from Islamist groups.
The Beni Massacre, an attack attributed to Ugandan Islamist rebels, led to at least 64 deaths in 2016. In 2019, an attack claimed by ISIL* led to 25 people being wounded or killed.
It has not been reported if any group has claimed responsibility for the Christmas attack. Investigation into the incident is ongoing.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation outlawed in Russia and many other states