Bomb blasts claim lives: At least 7 dead in eastern DR Congo

Seven civilians, including a child, were killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday, when bombs exploded in a civilian area, a local civil society leader told media.

“Three bombs were fired from the Rwangara area in the Masisi Territory in North Kivu and exploded in popular neighborhoods here in Kisongati in the Buhavu chiefdom,” said Delphin Birimbi, president of civil society groups in Kalehe, a territory in South Kivu province where the blasts occurred.

“We think they are M23 rebels because the bombs came from the areas they occupy,” he added.

This came after 16 civilians were killed and 20 others injured in another attack last week in the Mugunga internally displaced people’s camp, 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the city of Goma.

Violent fighting also erupted in the town of Sake, 45 kilometers from Goma, between the Congolese army and the M23 rebels. The rebels accuse the DRC government of “not protecting the population” and want to take the city of Goma at all costs.

The DRC accuses Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels who are said to be mainly composed of fighters of Rwandan Tutsi origin. Congolese Tutsi make up some 1-2% of Congo’s population.

The M23 are fighting against the Congolese armed forces in eastern DRC.

Fighting has displaced around a million people in North Kivu, the UN said in December last year.

The rebels are reported to have captured some villages and towns near Goma. Eastern Congo is rich in mineral wealth.

Rwanda denies claims it supports the M23 rebels.

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