At least 10 people were killed and 39 wounded Sunday in a bomb attack on a church in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo claimed by Islamic State jihadists.
Congolese military spokesman Antony Mualushayi said the “terrorist act” happened in a Pentecostal church in North Kivu province’s Kasindi, a town on the border with Uganda.
The explosion according to AFP, killed at least 10 people and wounded 39, he added, revising up an initial death toll of five. Both tolls were provisional, the spokesman said.
But the spokesman for Uganda’s military operation in the DRC, Bilal Katamba, said on Sunday evening that 16 people had been killed in the blast, and 20 wounded.
“The attackers used an IED to carry out the attack and we suspect ADF is behind the attack,” he added.
AFP was unable to independently confirm the death toll.
The DRC’s communications ministry said on social media that the attack was apparently carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) — which the Islamic State group claims as its affiliate in central Africa.
The ADF is one of the deadliest of the more than 120 armed groups in eastern DRC, many of them the legacy of regional wars that flared at the turn of the century in the vast impoverished nation.
It has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda. ADF operatives have also planted bombs in towns in North Kivu in the past.
On Sunday evening, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack and said “nearly 20” people had been killed, according to the specialised monitoring group Site intelligence group.
Army spokesman Mualushayi said a Kenyan suspect was arrested after the attack.