U.N. helicopters fire on rebels fighting Congolese troops 2908132

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Defence & Security News - Congo

 
 
Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:26 AM
 
U.N. helicopters fire on rebels fighting Congolese troops.
A United Nations peacekeeper has been killed and three others wounded in escalating violence in the eastern Congo, which also saw UN helicopters fire on rebels fighting Congolese troops. The nationality of the slain peacekeeper was not immediately known and no other details were given.
     
A United Nations peacekeeper has been killed and three others wounded in escalating violence in the eastern Congo, which also saw UN helicopters fire on rebels fighting Congolese troops. The nationality of the slain peacekeeper was not immediately known and no other details were given.
A United Nations peacekeeping mission helicopter flys over a UN basecamp in Goma on May 29, 2013
     
The latest fighting began just before 8am on Wednesday in the hills of the Kibati area, about 15km north of the provincial capital of Goma, according to both a government and a UN spokesman.

The rebels confirmed that they had been attacked by ground troops as well as from the air.

"There was a big offensive this morning. The government's army, helped by the United Nations, attacked our positions near Goma with aircrafts, with combat tanks and with infantry," said the president of the M23 rebel movement, Bertrand Bisimwa.

Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Olivier Hamuli said the UN brigade and regular UN peacekeepers had supported government forces with heavy artillery and attack helicopters.

"Combat is ongoing and there has been an intense bombardment of Kibati," he told the Reuters news agency. "It's going well. We have not advanced much but M23 is gaining no territory."

The UN's intervention brigade was created as a result of intense international pressure after the rebels briefly held Goma late last year, and UN peacekeeping forces stood by because they were only authorised to protect civilians.

 

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