Bomb explodes at restaurant in eastern Congo on Christmas Day, at least seven dead

A bomb exploded at a restaurant Saturday as patrons gathered on Christmas Day, killing at least seven people in an eastern Congolese town where extremists are known to be active.
Heavy gunfire rang out shortly after the bomb went off, with panicked crowds fleeing the town’s center.
Mayor Narcisse Muteba Kashale, who is also a police colonel, said at least two of the victims were children. Wounded survivors were taken to the local hospital, he said.
“Investigations are underway to find the perpetrators of this terrorist attack,” he told The Associated Press.
The town has long been targeted by rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, a group that traces its origins to neighboring Uganda. But an ISIS group affiliate claimed responsibility for two explosions in Beni in June, deepening fears that religious extremism has taken hold there too.
Residents of the town have repeatedly expressed anger over the ongoing insecurity despite an army offensive and the presence of UN peacekeepers in Beni. In recent years, the town also has suffered through an Ebola epidemic and has seen several smaller outbreaks of the disease.

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