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7 UN Soldiers Killed in DRC


FILE - A Congolese girl gestures to passing peacekeepers, serving in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), as they ride on patrol in the town of Kiwanja, Democratic Republic of Congo, Oct. 19, 2018.

Seven U.N. military personnel were killed during joint operations with the Congolese military in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Six of the dead were Malawian, and one Tanzanian.

Ten more peacekeepers were wounded, and another is missing, according to a statement from the U.N. secretary-general's spokesperson. Several Congolese soldiers and an unknown number of opposing combatants were also reportedly killed or wounded during the operations.

The fatalities occurred the near the city of Beni, in the North Kivu region, which is currently at the center of an Ebola outbreak ravaging the country. The French news agency AFP reported that U.N. peacekeepers and Congolese troops were engaged in an offensive against the ADF stronghold of Kididiwe.

The ADF is a rebel force with Ugandan origins that has been active in Congo in recent years.

A U.N. official speaking on condition of anonymity would not confirm that the fatalities were related to the offensive, although they did say they had occurred over the last two days, when the operation started.

The U.N. mission in Congo, MONUSCO, a force of about 18,000 soldiers, has been present in the DRC for almost two decades as the country has suffered through wars and constant internal violence.