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Peacekeeper Killed as UN Battles Rebels in Congo

Wounded Congolese army fighters rest inside a ward as they receive treatment at the HEAL Africa teaching hospital in Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug. 27, 2013.
A U.N. peacekeeper has been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as U.N. and Congolese forces battle rebel group M23.

A U.N. spokesman in New York, Farhan Haq, said three other peacekeepers were wounded in Wednesday's fighting near the eastern city of Goma, capital of North Kivu province.

Haq says U.N. helicopters assisted the Congolese army as it attacked M23 positions in Kibati, north of Goma. He said the attack targeted hillside positions from which the rebels had shelled civilians.

A reporter for VOA's Somali Service in Goma said both sides took casualties in the fighting, and it appeared neither side gained any ground.

The United Nations, which has a large peacekeeping operation in Congo, recently deployed an "Intervention Brigade" to fight rebel groups in the east and help stabilize the volatile region.

U.N. peacekeepers previously clashed Friday with M23, when they fired at the rebels outside Goma after rebel artillery shells killed two civilians.

The DRC's minister of health, Felix Kabange, visited wounded soldiers and civilians in a Goma hospital Wednesday and promised that the government will bring peace to the region.

M23 briefly took control of Goma last year and still controls parts of North Kivu province. The group is made up of former rebels who were integrated into the Congolese army in a 2009 peace agreement, but later deserted after complaining of discrimination and poor treatment.