UK missionary shot by bandits in DRC stable in hospital

WEC missionary Maud Kells was shot at her home in Mulita on Sunday nightWEC International

A UK missionary who was shot by bandits in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday night is in a stable condition in hospital.

Maud Kells, 75, from Cookstown, Northern Ireland, was shot twice and wounded in the shoulder by rebels who attacked her home in Mulita, a remote village in the north east of the country.

WEC International, the organisation with which she was working, said she was in a stable condition this morning and was able to speak and recognise people.

Kells has worked in the DRC since 1968, when she began working as a missionary nurse. She has since been involved in training Congolese nurses in five hospitals and 30 health centres. She received an OBE in the New Year's honours list for her work.

Douglas Craig, the Scottish coordinator for WEC who has worked with Kells in the DRC, described her as a "dynamic, committed Christian lady".

Colleagues with Kells at the hospital had told Craig that she was stable but in quite a lot of pain.

"It remains to be seen what impact this has had on her physically, certainly I don't think she will let this stop her serving the Lord if she can," he said.

"The area has been subject to instability for a number of years," said Craig, "but she's stayed on... she's got that stickability through thick and thin.

"She's one of these old fashioned 'do everything' missionaries – she turns her hand to everything that she can."

As well as nursing, Kells has been involved with building medical facilities and a school, as well as Bible teaching.

Kells has witnessed numerous armed uprisings during her time in the DRC, and has been evacuated from her home more than once to escape violence.

Craig said this attack was unlikely to be targeting her for her missionary work or Christian faith but an act of lawlessness by armed rebels.

Kells spends half of the year in the DRC and the other half in Cookstown.