Tag: attack

Nine Christians killed in another attack in eastern DRC

An attack by unknown armed men early on Tuesday morning (5 July) has claimed the lives of at least nine Christians in the volatile eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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MONUSCO forces outside the town of Oicha, eastern DRC, in May 2015. Myriam Asmani/CC/MONUSCO

Local sources contacted by World Watch Monitor said the assailants stormed the Tenambo, Nzanza and Mamiki communities, near an army base on the outskirts of the town of Oicha, between 4am and 6am. Armed with guns and machetes, they looted homes, taking food and cattle as plunder. The incident was confirmed by security forces and the Administrator of Beni territory, Bernard Amisi Kalonda, who said the death toll may climb higher as searches for victims continue.

Eastern DRC has been beset by deadly violence, with 1,116 killed between October 2014 and May 2016, according to local NGOs. Another 1,470 people have been abducted, they say, while more than 34,000 families have been forcibly displaced. There have also been numerous cases of sexual violence against women and children.

DRC_locator_200x200The area is nearly 96 per cent Christian, and the impact of the violence has been immense. A pastor in the area affected by the 5 July attack told World Watch Monitor that all the victims, including an elder from his church and five women, were Christians.
The attack provoked panic; many fled the area and sought refuge in safer areas of Oicha. A local activist said security forces did not heed the warnings of an imminent attack, after leaflets were distributed in Beni and the surrounding area.

“The authorities should have taken some steps to counter the enemy,” Teddy Kataliko told local media. “Today, they penetrated the centre of the capital of the Beni territory, and created desolation. We believe it’s time we take action all around Oicha and Beni to avoid even worse.”

The three communities attacked by rebels were only 200 metres from an army position, and about three kilometres from a UN base. Despite persistent gunfire and calls for help, no-one intervened, local sources said.

Another unnamed activist told local media that some people thought they were under attack by the military. “They were wearing full uniform with Arab scarves around their necks and red bands around their heads,” the activist said. “The army always asks the population to collaborate, but when they do, nothing is happening.”

An army spokesman has denied the accusations.

‘Who are the killers of Beni?’

The Congolese government has always attributed responsibility for attacks to the Islamist militants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). But a report published on 21 March by the Congo Research Group, an independent group linked with New York University, has cast doubts on that assessment.

The report, titled “Who are the killers of Beni?”, says that a number of actors and interests have fuelled the crisis in eastern DRC. Rather than a foreign Islamist group driven by revenge, ADF rebels have forged strong ties with local groups and militias over the course of 20 years of insurrection around Beni, it says.

Adding to the criticism that the Congolese army has been passive in the face of the violence, the report claims that the Congolese government and MONUSCO (the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission) have not put sufficient effort into addressing the crisis. Moreover, the ADF has not acted alone, it says.

The report adds that in addition to commanders directly tied to the ADF, members of the national army and local militias have also been involved in attacks on civilians.

“Our researchers have documented cases in which [army] officers discouraged their units from intervening during massacres, and there is extensive evidence indicating that members of the [army] have actively participated in massacres,” the report said. The Congo Research Group recommended that both the DRC government and UN peacekeeping forces investigate the violence committed in the Beni vicinity since October 2014 and determine responsibility for the massacres.

In May, local NGOs wrote to Congolese President Joseph Kabila to denounce the ongoing killings of people in eastern DRC, particularly in Beni and Lubero, in North Kivu Province. But the violence continues.

The UN’s 2016 Global Humanitarian Overview documented the continued presence of numerous illegally armed groups in DRC. It also highlighted the scale of the humanitarian disaster.

“In DRC, a complex and protracted crisis of massive proportions has created humanitarian needs for 7.5 million people, or 9 per cent of the population,” it stated. “Eastern DRC continues to be the theatre of a complex and protracted humanitarian crisis affecting at least 1.6 million IDPs, 90 per cent of whom are displaced due to armed attacks and violence.”

Source: World Watch Monitor



Attack near US consulate in Saudi city of Jeddah

A suspected suicide bomber has died after detonating a device near the US consulate in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, the interior ministry says.

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The incident took place near the US consulate, which was attacked in 2004 (file picture)

Two security officers were slightly injured as they tackled the man, but no one else was hurt.

The attack came in the early hours of US Independence Day and shortly before dawn prayers marking the start of the daily Ramadan fast.

Militants attacked the Jeddah consulate in 2004, leaving nine people dead.

The US State Department said it was aware of Monday’s blast, adding that it “can confirm that all personnel under chief of mission authority are accounted for at this time”.

Security guards became suspicious of a man in the car park of the Dr Suleiman Faqeeh hospital around 02:15 (23:15 GMT Sunday), interior ministry spokesman Maj-Gen Mansour al-Turki said in a statement.

The hospital is opposite the US consulate.

As the guards approached the man, “he blew himself up with a suicide belt inside the hospital parking,” the statement said.

The US embassy in Saudi Arabia issued a warning after the attack, urging Americans to “remain aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country”.

Source: BBC News



Christian Missionary Kidnapped in Burkina Faso Freed. Husband remains in captivity

Islamic extremists have freed an Australian missionary woman who was kidnapped last month in northern Burkina Faso. Her husband remains in captivity despite efforts by officials to secure his release.

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Jocelyn Elliott and her husband, surgeon Ken Elliott, were abducted following an attack in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou by suspected Islamic extremists that killed 30 people.

Al-Qaida’s North Africa wing claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, though the group said in an audio recording Friday that it would release Jocelyn so as “not to make women involved in the war.”

She was freed in neighboring Niger, where she appeared alongside President Mahamadou Issoufou in the town of Dosso, located about 90 miles southeast of the capital, Niamey.

Issoufou worked with Burkina Faso intelligence services to secure her release, said Abdourahmane Alilou, a spokesman for Niger’s president.

Australian media carried a statement from the Elliott’s’ family urging that Ken Elliott also be freed.

“We are trusting that the moral and guiding principles of those who have released our Mother will also be applied to our elderly father who has served the community of Djibo and the Sahel for more than half his lifetime,” the statement said.

The Elliott’s, who are in their 80’s, are originally from Perth but have lived in the town of Djibo, where they have run a medical clinic for four decades.

A family spokesperson says that they spent their lives helping people in the West African country.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged to continue working with regional governments to secure Ken Elliott’s release.

“We’re dealing with a difficult diplomatic situation and the Burkina Faso government is working very well on it and we’ll continue to stay in touch with them,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Source:CBN News