Tragedy strikes in northeastern Congo as bomb blast kills 9, leaves a dozen injured

Explosion was triggered when local self-defense fighter accidentally caused it to detonate in village center

At least nine people were killed and a dozen wounded when a bomb went off in a village in northeastern Congo, a local official said Thursday.

The bomb exploded in the eastern territory of Rutshuru on Wednesday evening, according to Isaac Kibira, a deputy to the province's governor. A local self-defense fighter — part of a militia to protect the community — was tinkering with an unidentified object on the ground when it detonated in the village center, instantly killing him and eight civilians nearby.

It was not immediately known who planted the bomb, though officials said it was found in an area where armed rebels recently have made incursions.

"Emergency first aid was provided by elements of the regional forces of the East African Community deployed in the area," said Kibira. Local health officials said they admitted the wounded to a clinic for treatment.


tragedy strikes in northeastern congo as bomb blast kills 9 leaves a dozen injured

At least 9 people have been killed by a bomb in northeastern Congo as violence in the region escalates.  (Fox News)

Fighting in eastern Congo has been simmering for decades as more than 120 groups fight for power, land and valuable mineral resources — while others try to defend their communities. But it spiked in late 2021 when the rebel group M23, which was largely dormant for nearly a decade, resurfaced and started capturing territory. Earlier this week the UN raised the alarm on an upsurge in violence in the country's northeast.

M23 rose to prominence 10 years ago when its fighters seized Goma, eastern Congo’s largest city on the border with Rwanda. It derives its name from a March 23, 2009, peace deal that it accuses the Congo government of not implementing. The Congolese government and the UN have accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels, allegations Rwanda denies.

M23 and a local self-defense group have been fighting for control of the village. Youth militia groups called "Wazalendo" ("patriots" in Kiswahili) have formed across northeastern Congo to protect their communities from encroaching armed groups.

Wednesday's deaths came less than a week after M23 were accused of killing nearly a dozen people in a different village in the same area.

via FoxNews July 20th 2023