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UN chief condemns deadly attack at DR Congo church

This July 7, 2017 file photo provided by United Nations shows Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressing a press conference in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana. (STR / UNITED NATIONS / AFP)

UNITED NATIONS – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned a deadly attack at a church in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), his spokesman said on Sunday.

Citing preliminary reports, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, said at least 12 civilians were killed and 50 others injured when an explosive device was detonated during Sunday service at a local church in Kasindi of the North Kivu province.

The secretary-general stressed the need to hold the perpetrators of the attack to account and noted that the United Nations Mine Action Service is supporting the Congolese authorities in investigating the incident

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The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC is providing medical evacuation to the injured in coordination with Congolese authorities, Dujarric said in a statement.

Guterres "expresses his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the people and government of the DRC, and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured," said the spokesman.

The secretary-general stressed the need to hold the perpetrators of the attack to account and noted that the United Nations Mine Action Service is supporting the Congolese authorities in investigating the incident, he added.

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Guterres also reiterated that the United Nations, through his special representative in the DRC, will continue to support the Congolese government and people in their efforts to realize peace and stability in the east of the country, the spokesman said.