According to local sources, at least nine people lost their lives, and 16 others sustained injuries when an explosive device accidentally detonated in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The explosion took place on Wednesday evening in Lubwe Sud, situated in the Rutshuru territory of North Kivu province.
According to Justin Mwangaza, a prominent figure in the local civil society, a civilian discovered a bomb in a field and handed it over to a militiaman, resulting in the subsequent explosion, as reported by media.
A nurse at a nearby clinic verified the casualty count, stating that two individuals died immediately at the scene of the incident, and seven others later succumbed to their injuries.
Some of the 16 wounded people are in critical condition, the nurse said.
Much of eastern DRC has been marred by the presence of armed groups for decades, a legacy stemming from regional conflicts that escalated during the 1990s and 2000s.
Since reemerging in late 2021 after a period of inactivity, the M23 group has seized control of significant portions of territory in North Kivu.
Independent UN experts, the DRC government, and several Western countries, including the United States and France, accuse Rwanda of providing active support to the M23 group, despite Kigali’s denials of such involvement.