The tragedy took place in the courtyard of a Protestant church in Kasindi, a border town with Uganda, in North Kivu. The authorities accuse the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) affiliated since 2019 with the Islamic State.
With our correspondent in Kinshasa, Pascal Mulegwa
In the morning, hundreds of worshipers gathered for baptisms and worship in the courtyard of this Pentecostal church. The bomb exploded before the end of worship near the sound instruments, according to several witnesses.
Footage shared after the attack shows two inert children, their bodies lying on the ground. Other worshipers died, their bodies dismembered by shrapnel. Unbearable images that also show injured people who have lost their limbs. They were evacuated to health facilities.
The perimeter was cordoned off by the security forces. It is far from the parish that a Kenyan suspected of being involved in this killing was arrested. The army quickly concluded that there was a terrorist attack by the ADF. For the army spokesman, it is an act of reprisal for the offensives of the Congolese and Ugandan armies against the strongholds of the militiamen.
An act ” cowardly and despicable “, reacted in the evening the Reverend André Bokundoa, the legal representative of the Congolese Protestant Church. He ordered three days of prayers in the parishes and asked the government to decree national mourning.
Reverend Pastor Gilbert Kambale is honorary president of civil society in Beni. He recounts the fear of the inhabitants and denounces the state of siege imposed by the authorities in the region.
Kasindi and the agglomeration were calm until then […] People are in shock. This is the first time this has happened in a church. Everybody’s scared now
Reverend Pastor Gilbert Kambale