7 killed in ‘terror’ shooting in Goma in eastern DR Congo

Like much of the rest of eastern DR Congo, Goma has had to deal with much violence. (AFP pic)

GOMA: Seven people were killed when gunmen went on a shooting spree in Goma, a major city in the troubled east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the mayor said on Monday.

“Some unidentified men spread terror” late on Sunday in Goma, mayor Timothée Muissa Kense said.

“They were shooting in all directions,” he said, immediately killing three people and wounding 22 others.

“Four people later died of their wounds. Eighteen others are still in hospital,” the mayor said.

A 33-year-old butcher who witnessed the shooting said that on Sunday evening two people arrived on a motorcycle in the town of Mugunga on the outskirts of Goma.

“They opened fire on people.  Three people died, and there was panic. We hid ourselves in a kiosk,” the witness said.

A security source speculated that it could have been a settling of scores by an armed group from the neighbouring town of Masisi against a man, his wife and their child.

Located on Lake Kivu on the border with Rwanda, Goma is the capital of the province of North Kivu with a population of around one million. Gun attacks inside the city is rare, as it is a headquarters of the UN mission in DR Congo known as MONUSCO.

There have been crimes reported in recent months in Goma, including the kidnapping of children for ransom, as well as violence followed by the killing of the young hostages.

The provinces of North and South Kivu have for decades been the theatre of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.