Indian officials say three Indian were killed early Wednesday, and seven others wounded during a rebel attack on an eastern Congo base of the United Nations peacekeeping force.

The officials say gunfire erupted when as many as 50 rebels invaded the base in Kirumba in North Kivu.

The Indian soldiers are part of some 20,000 peacekeepers from various countries.

In May, the U.N. Security Council  voted to withdraw 2,000 peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congo's government has asked that the entire U.N. force be withdrawn by August of next year.  However, Council members believe Congo's army will be unable to secure the restive eastern provinces.

The U.N. mission in Congo was originally deployed during Congo's civil war from 1998 to 2003.  Its current mandate calls for the force to protect civilians and aid workers and help the government disarm eastern rebels and militias.

Armed groups in the region include the Lord's Resistance Army, originally from Uganda, and Rwandan Hutu rebels who took part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.