DRC Congo's army said on Sunday that an explosive device had detonated in a church in North Kivu province, without giving details about the number of casualties.
In a statement sent to reporters, military spokesman Antony Mualushayi said that the "terrorist act" occurred in a pentecostal church in the town of Kasindi in North Kivu, which lies on the border with neighbouring Uganda.
"The security services have already taken control of the place and the injured have been evacuated to local health facilities," Mualushayi said, adding that an investigation was underway.
M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are holding civilians hostage for suspected collaboration with enemy militias as fighting erupted despite recent peace efforts, local sources told AFP early this week.
But the Congolese army dismissed the withdrawal as a “sham” aimed at reinforcing the group’s positions elsewhere and security sources told AFP clashes resumed in North Kivu on Sunday.
The rebels initially detained around 50 people accused of collaborating with two anti-M23 militias in and around the Tongo settlement, local civil society representative Cyprien Ngoragore said.
He said at least 18 civilians were still in rebel hands, suspected of working with an anti-M23 armed group, the Nyatura, and the FDLR, a militia with Rwandan Hutu origins.Two people told AFP the hostages were taken to the locality of Rutshuru-centre, seen as an M23 stronghold.
A nephew of one of the hostages, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were “displaced people who were returning to look for food” and that the M23 told him they were still alive.
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