Seven peacekeepers killed, 10 wounded in DRC fighting: UN

Seven peacekeepers were killed and 10 others were wounded during a joint military operation with troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo against rebels in the east of the country, a UN spokesperson said on Thursday.

Another UN peacekeeper is missing from the fighting near the city of Beni in North Kivu, said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the killing in a statement and called on armed groups to disarm immediately.

Six peacekeepers from Malawi and one from Tanzania were killed during the operation on Wednesday against rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group blamed for a series of attacks.

"Initial reports indicate that ten additional peacekeepers were wounded, and another one is missing," said Dujarric, adding that several Congolese soldiers were also killed or wounded during the operations.

The UN spokesperson declined to give details of the joint operation, but said it was linked to efforts to combat the outbreak of Ebola.

"As you know there is an Ebola outbreak in this area and insecurity has been an obstacle to the response to the outbreak," he said.

The ADF, operating in North Kivu province near the Ugandan border, has been blamed for the deaths of hundreds of civilians since 2014 as well as of 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers last December.

The UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO has about 17 000 troops and police.

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