8 dead in explosion at bar of military camp in eastern Congo

A Congolese government spokesman said at least eight people had died in the east of the country after an explosion at a bar in a military camp

GOMA, Congo — An explosion at a bar in a military camp on the outskirts of eastern Congo’s largest city killed at least eight people Thursday night, a government spokesman said.

The victims had gathered for a drink at the Katindo military camp around 7:40 p.m., Patrick Muyaya said on his Twitter account.

Witnesses at the scene told The Associated Press that a grenade caused the explosion, but there was no immediate official confirmation of the accounts.

The military camp is about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the center of Goma, a town near the Rwandan border that hosts a large UN peacekeeping mission presence.

“Teams are already on site to investigate,” Muyaya tweeted. “We call on people to remain calm.”

The rare outburst in Goma comes amid growing violence in eastern Congo, some of which has been blamed on militants with shadowy ties to Islamic extremist organisations. These fighters deliberately targeted the Congolese army as soldiers stepped up counterinsurgency operations.

About James K. Bonnette

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