President William Ruto Monday condemned the bomb attack on a church in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday.
The attack on the 8th CEPAC Lubiriha Church in the eastern city of Kalindi, left at least 17 people dead and about 30 others injured.
“Kenya condemns this heinous crime and commends the DRC forces for their swift action that led to the arrest of suspected terrorists,” Ruto said.
Ruto said the attack was a reminder of the ever-present terrorist threat.
He further said it emphasized the need to strengthen the nations’, individual and collective resolve to deal with the threat to international peace and security.
Ruto condoled the people of DRC and wished the injured a quick recovery.
“On my own behalf and that of the people of Kenya, I convey wishes for a quick recovery to those who were injured and pray for the souls of the departed.”
According to the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), the attack was perpetrated “in retaliation for the losses these terrorists have suffered in several battlefields against the FARDC.”
FARDC spokesperson Anthony Mualushayi said it was likely carried out by the Allied Democratic Force (ADF), a Ugandan armed group that has pledged allegiance to ISIL (ISIS).
Reports said that later on Sunday, the ISIL group claimed responsibility for the attack.
On Sunday, a Kenyan was arrested in connection to the attack.
Abdirizak Muktar Garad, 29, comes from Wajir County.
Detectives at the Anti-Terror Police Unit in Nairobi said they were counterchecking the details of the suspect for more background.
The bomb attack happened during a service at a Protestant church in the eastern DRC.
Mualushay said the attack during the Sunday service in the city of Kasindi, on the border with Uganda, was likely carried out by the Allied Democratic Force (ADF), a Ugandan armed group that has pledged allegiance to ISIL (ISIS).
Later on Sunday, the ISIL group claimed responsibility for the attack, reports said.
The ADF began as an uprising in Uganda but has been based in the DRC since the late 1990s.
Survivors and witnesses said the blast severed some people’s limbs from their bodies.
Kasindi is in a province where Congolese and Ugandan forces have launched a campaign against the ADF.
Troops from Uganda’s army have deployed to eastern Congo to try to stem the violence, but the attacks have increased and spread.
ADF attacks since April have killed at least 370 civilians and involved the abduction of several hundred more, a report by the United Nations last month said.
The rebel group has extended its area of operations to Goma and into neighboring Ituri province where Kenyan troops are.
More than 120 armed groups roam mineral-rich eastern DRC. Many are the legacy of regional wars that flared at the turn of the century.