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Death toll in Democratic Republic of Congo's church attack rises to 14

Congolese police and a mine expert from UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service) on site of Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023 church attack.   -  
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Cleared /AP

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Debris are all that's left of a deadly church service. In Kasindi, north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, investigation is progressing after a bomb exploded in a Pentecostal church and killed at least 14 people, Sunday (Jan.15).

Congolese police and mine expert from the UN combed the blast area on Monday as Uganda forces securing the zone.

"24 hours after of the bomb explosion in the border town of Kasindi, all military services, as well as civilians, are mobilized," Captain Antony Mualushayi, the spokesperson for SUKOLA 1 Far North Operations (DRC Army) said.

They are mobilized "to find out more about not only the origin, but also those responsible for this macabre situation that has saddened our population."

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack calling it relation against the DRC's military operations againts its 'fighters.' Rebel organisation ADF is believed to have links to the Islamic State group.

Some of the victims corpses were sent to morgue at the Lubiriha Reference Health Center.

After an initial toll of 10 people and more than three dozen wounded, the toll rose on Monday. Congolese authorities put it at 14 dead and at least 63 wounded. The extremists alleged the bomb killed 20 Christians. 

Survivors and witnesses said the blast severed some people's limbs from their bodies.

"After the songs by a choir from our church, the preacher of the day took the floor and while he was preaching we heard an explosion and that's how I found myself injured," congregant Masika Oripa remembered.

Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defence militias fight for ore, influence and money.

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