‘Bomb’ hits DR Congo airport as fighting flares in restive east

Representational picture of soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at its border with Rwanda
| Photo Credit: Reuters

A bomb struck the airport in the restive eastern DR Congo city of Goma early Saturday as fighting flared between rebels and government forces, security and government sources told AFP.

“Yes, it’s true, Goma airport was hit by a bomb last night,” a source in the governorate of North Kivu province said, asking not to be named.

A security source spoke of “two bombs” at the facility in Goma, the North Kivu capital, adding that they “caused no damage”. “Two experts are on site to check where the bombs were fired from,” the source said. An AFP correspondent and Goma residents reported hearing two loud explosions.

The UN Security Council voiced concern this week at “escalating violence” in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, condemning an offensive launched by M23 rebels near Goma, which has population of one million. Clashes have intensified recently between the M23 and the Congolese army backed by pro-government militiamen.

The DRC, the UN and Western countries say Rwanda is supporting the rebels in a bid to control vast mineral resources, an allegation Kigali denies. The rebels have conquered vast swathes of North Kivu in the last two years.

The latest fight has pushed tens of thousands of civilians to flee towards Goma, which stands between Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border and is practically cut off from the country’s interior.

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