UN troops in DRC fend off rebels

2010-10-25 14:54

Kinshasa – United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) repelled an attack on their base, killing eight suspected members of the tribal Mai-Mai militia, the UN mission in the DRC said today.

The attack was carried out late Saturday by “about 50 men armed with AK47 rifles and locally made weapons” who struck the UN base at Rwindi in the eastern Nord-Kivu province, Monusco said in a statement.

Despite “repeated warning shots” from UN troops, the attackers opened fire on the soldiers and “tried to break into the base” by force.

UN troops fired back and drove off the attackers after an exchange of fire that lasted “15 to 20 minutes”, according to Monusco.

The battle left eight dead and two wounded among the assailants, who “according to first indications, seemed to belong to a Mai-Mai group”, added the statement, which made no mention of casualties among the peacekeepers.

On August 18, three Indian UN soldiers were killed with knives during an attack by 60 Mai-Mai militia on another UN base in the troubled Nord-Kivu province, where several rebel and armed tribal groups are active.

The Mai-Mai are local clan militias that took various sides in successive wars that wracked the DRC between 1997 and 2003, and they have remained under arms as one of the sources of instability in the east.

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