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Goma residents describe "black smoke" and "loud bangs"

People walk on the road near Kibumba, north of Goma, in eastern DRC, as they flee fighting in North Kivu in 2022   -  
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Moses Sawasawa/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Residents in eastern DRC's city of Goma described seeing on Tuesday (Jan. 24) "black smoke" and hearing "loud bangs" as a DRC fighter jet landed at the city's airport.

The incident sparked another row between Kinshasa and Kigali.

"Yesterday I was here and I heard a loud bang that went "boom". When I looked up I saw a plane with flames and smoke, we all panicked and everyone fled in different directions. After a few minutes we heard that it was Rwanda that wanted to shoot down our fighter plane", said local female resident, Mamy Safy

Another local resident, money exchanger Patrick Odon, added:

"At about 100 or 150 metres from here, I felt that the noise of the plane had become strange, then I heard a loud bang that went "poof". Right away, I realised that the plane had been hit from somewhere. The plane slowed down and went to land at the airport", he said. 

On Tuesday, the Rwandan government said a fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of Congo violated its airspace.

Kinshasa denied the accusations, and slammed Kigali for an "attack" on the jet that it said amounted to "an act of war".

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