About 1,300 people escaped in Boma, a town south of the central Congolese city of Goma, on Friday, after armed Islamist militants attacked the town early that morning, the nation’s military said.
The attackers claimed to be part of an Islamist group led by Abu Ibrahim al-Krimani. The name does not seem to match with another Islamist group, Ansar al-Din, that has previously attacked in North Kivu province.
The prison in Boma was surrounded, and soldiers set up checkpoints on the main roads in the region. Residents, looking to flee the town, were barred by the authorities, witnesses told the New York Times. The attacks appeared to be related to conflict between local communities and the group that claimed to be the one headed by al-Krimani, the military said.
In a video statement released by an Islamist group in July, al-Krimani demanded an end to violence in the region. But the militants also vowed to carry out attacks against the government and police, telling the video’s viewers to “kill all foreigners, including Congolese soldiers” and civilians, and to “take our country back for Islam and Muslims.”
Read the full story at New York Times.