Incident Summary:

01/17/2009: On Saturday evening, in the villages of Tora and Libombi, near Tora, Orientale, Democratic Republic of the Congo, assailants set fire to a church, killing as many as 100 worshippers. The assailants then attacked residents of several homesteads with axes and similar weapons, killing several civilians at each homestead. The assailants also set fire to and damaged several residences and businesses. No group claimed responsibility, although it was widely believed the Lord's Resistance Army was responsible. Reports indicated that hundreds of people were killed throughout this series of attacks, although the specific details on the number of victims at each location are unclear.



Democratic Republic of the Congo

Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
The incident occurred at residences in Tora, Orientale, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity
Specific Description Specific target unknown.
Nationality of Target Democratic Republic of the Congo
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity
Specific Description The target was a Catholic church in Tora.
Nationality of Target Democratic Republic of the Congo
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Weapon Details
Unknown weapons were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 400 Fatalities
Total Number of Fatalities 400
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured Unknown
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Godfrey Olukya, "Ugandan Rebels Blamed for Church Attack in Congo," LexisNexis Academic, Associated Press, January 19, 2009.
Christian Telegraph, "Rebels Set Fire to Crowded Catholic Church in Congo," Christian Telegraph, January 20, 2009.
"Ugandan rebels massacre hundreds, burn church in Congo," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 19, 2009.