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Police: Four Hurt in Bomb Blast in Busy Market in East Congo


Map showing location of the Congolese city Beni.

Four people were hurt when a bomb exploded at a busy market Saturday in the city of Beni in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, police said, days after the U.S. embassy in the capital Kinshasa warned of a possible attack.

Local police said they were looking for the suspected bomber after the blast in Beni, which is in a region where Congolese and Ugandan forces have launched a campaign against suspected Islamists.

"We call on the population to be calm and especially vigilant," said Beni city police spokesperson Nasson Murara.

Police tended to casualties at the market before taking them to a local police hospital, a Reuters journalist on the scene said.

Frank Kasisa, the attending physician at Beni's police hospital, said four people were in stable condition after being injured in the blast. He confirmed no one had been killed.

Staphanie Kahambu, who has a shop inside the market, said the market had been crowded before the explosion.

"We heard a bomb explode, and everyone fled in different directions," Kahambu said. "It's really sad because I saw four people who were seriously injured."

The U.S. embassy in Kinshasa said Tuesday it believed "terrorist attacks" were planned in Beni "in the near future," and warned citizens against traveling there.

Beni has seen several recent bombings that authorities have blamed on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan militant group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

A suicide bomber struck a Beni restaurant on Christmas Day last year, killing at least six people as well as himself, officials said.

Beni also was hit by two explosions in June last year at a Catholic church and at a busy intersection. The only death in the two incidents was in the second bombing, in which the suspected bomber was killed.

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