Islamic State group blamed in church bombing that killed 10 in Congo

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Jan. 15 (UPI) — An alleged terrorist bombing of a Pentecostal church in the Democratic Republic of Congo killed 10 people and injured at least 39 more on Sunday.

The government of Congo accused Islamic State terrorist group the Allied Democratic Forces of the attack.

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“The Government strongly condemns the bomb attack visibly perpetrated by ADF terrorists, this Sunday 15/01/2023, against citizens in full worship in the parish of the 8th Community of Pentecostal Churches of Congo in the city of Kasindi in North Kivu,” Congo’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication said in a statement.

The church is located in Kisindi, a town in Congo’s North Kivu province about 5 miles away from Beni, which is known to have heavy ADF activity.

The bomb used in the attack was an improvised explosive device.

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Military spokesperson Antony Mualushayi said the scene is under control and an investigation is underway.

“Very saddened by this heinous crime, the Head of State presents his deepest condolences to the bereaved families, reassuring that the culprits will be prosecuted, arrested, tried and severely punished,” said President Felix Tshisekedi

The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo condemned the attack but did not name a perpetrator.

“MONUSCO condemns the cowardly and despicable attack against a church in Kasindi (North Kivu) causing the death of several people and many injuries. It presents its condolences to the families of the victims, to the Congolese people and to the government of the Republic ,” MONUSCO tweeted.

The U.S. Congress describes ADF as an “armed group primarily active in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” In its September report on the organization it said the group has pledged allegiance to ISIS and poses a threat to long-running efforts by the United States to help stabilize the DRC.

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