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Curfew declared in DR Congo city after weekend bombings

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Malawian peacekeepers of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) stand guard outside a church in Beni, on June 27, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

A curfew has been declared in the northeastern city of Beni in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after three bomb attacks rocked the central African country over the weekend.

“I don’t want to see anyone in the street,” Beni Mayor Narcisse Muteba said on Sunday as he announced the curfew.

The official warned that the perpetrators of the bombings were planning to launch more attacks on the main regional business hub with an estimated population of 230,000 residents.

Beni is one of the two regions that President Felix Tshisekedi has declared to be under a “state of siege” since early May.

“Everyone should go inside because we have information that something else is being planned,” Muteba warned on Congo's RTR private radio, further insisting that, "I'm asking the population to take shelter and remain indoors."

On Sunday morning, an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in a Catholic church in the city, injuring two women, followed just hours later by a bombing attack on an intersection outside a bar.

The suspected bomber was blown up when the IED went off.

"There was no damage, only the transporter of the bomb died on the spot," Muteba said.

On Saturday, a bomb had exploded next to a gas station on the outskirts of Beni without causing any damage.

Beni officials have blamed such bombing attacks on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group.

ADF has carried out a string of deadly attacks bearing the same hallmarks in the past 18 months.

ADF is the most brutal of an estimated 122 militant outfits that roam the mineral-rich east of the African country.


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