At least 14 United Nations peacekeeping soldiers were killed and several injured in a militant attack in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN official and a member of a Congolese activist group said on Friday. Most of the soldiers dead were from Tanzania, at least five Congolese soldiers were also killed in the attack.
The attack occurred in Congo’s North Kivu province, which has remained a hotbed of armed militias, who continue to battle for control over the mineral-rich countryside despite the end of a major war over a decade and a half ago.
The region’s deadliest rebel group has been blamed for the attacks. UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix said that the attack is followed by a recent increase in activities by various armed groups. “We are disturbing them,” he said, “They do not like it.”
Here are the highlights:
10:16 pm: The base is home to the peacekeeping mission’s rapid intervention force, which has a rare mandate to go on the offensive, according to Radio Okapi, which is backed by the UN mission.
10:15 pm: Deputy spokesman Farhan Haq in New York said the peacekeepers were mainly from Tanzania, and that at least five Congolese soldiers also were killed in the assault blamed on one of the region’s deadliest rebel groups.
— United Nations (@UN) December 8, 2017
9:15 pm: Five Congolese soldiers also killed in addition to soldiers from Tanzania.
9:00 pm: A UN official earlier on Friday had acknowledged that a “large number” of U.N. peacekeepers were killed or wounded in the attack in the North Kivu province late on Thursday.