A suicide bomber attacked a restaurant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern city of Beni, killing at least five people and himself.
Officials blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) for Saturday’s attack. The militia is one of the deadliest armed groups in the region and is claimed by the ISIL (ISIS) group as its central Africa arm.
“The suicide bomber, prevented by security guards from entering a crowded bar, activated the bomb at the entrance of the bar,” the regional governor’s spokesman, General Ekenge Sylvain, said in a statement.
Six people died in the blast, and 14 were injured, including two local officials, he added.
More than 30 people were celebrating Christmas there when the bomb went off, witnesses told reporters.
Beni’s mayor, Narcisse Muteba Kashale, earlier told local radio that a bomb had exploded in the city centre.
“For safety, I’m asking the population to stay home,” the mayor said.
Police spokesperson Nasson Murara said that officers fired live rounds to disperse an angry crowd that attempted to bar investigators from accessing the scene of the explosion. No one was injured, he said.