A grenade detonated Tuesday morning where a group of U.N. peacekeepers in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo were exercising, killing a child and a peacekeeper and wounding 31 Indian troops on Tuesday, the U.N. mission there, MONUSCO, said.
Provincial governor Julien Paluku told Reuters that an eight-year-old girl and one peacekeeper had been killed in the blast.
The attack sparked an angry demonstration that was dispersed by tear gas, officials and witnesses said.
Congolese security forces used tear gas to disperse angry residents who said the blast was the result of peacekeepers’ carelessness. The demonstrators spoke on condition of anonymity for their safety.
The blast hit the peacekeepers while they were out on a morning run in the city of Goma.
“MONUSCO explosives expert on the scene confirmed an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack against peacekeepers,” the U.N. said, adding that five peacekeepers were in serious condition in hospital.
Attacks with explosive devices are extremely rare in Congo and it was not immediately clear who might have been responsible. Paluku said Congolese and United Nations investigators were trying to determine the exact nature of the device.
About 18,000 uniformed U.N. personnel operate in Congo, where millions of people died in regional conflicts between 1996-2003 and dozens of armed groups continue to operate.