Kidnapped landmine contractors freed in DRC - UN

Kinshasa - Three subcontractors for the United Nations' anti-landmine service who were kidnapped in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo were released uninjured on Tuesday, the UN said.

"They are unharmed and have arrived safely in Goma," UN secretary general spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.

"They will return to their home locations over the coming days," Haq said.

The men were abducted on Thursday from Kibumba in the restive North Kivu province in the country's mineral-rich east. No one claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Two of the men are from DR Congo and one is from abroad, said a UN source who did not elaborate.

The subcontractors work for a private company hired by the UN Mine Action Service, which is responsible for removing landmines and destroying the unexploded ordinance that remain after decades of conflict in North Kivu.

The three men disappeared at a time of rising tensions on the border with Rwanda, which recently sent troops into North Kivu near Kibumba, according to the Congolese armed forces.

One Congolese soldier was wounded in an exchange of fire on Wednesday with Rwandan troops, the army said.

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