World

Militants attack Congo bases in northeast, killing U.N. peacekeeper

Published: 9:40 PM, October 8, 2017
Updated: 5:50 PM, October 9, 2017

GOMA - Militants attacked two military bases in northeastern Congo on Monday, killing a U.N. peacekeeper and injuring a dozen others, the U.N. mission and the army said.

The mission, known as MONUSCO, said it had deployed attack helicopters in response to the raid.

Congo's army has been battling militants this weekend for control of a stretch of road linking the area to Uganda in a fresh outbreak of violence for a region plagued with ethnic tensions and a history of massacres.

"I can confirm an attack on the MONUSCO base at Mamundioma this morning which killed one peacekeeper and injured 12," said the spokeswoman for the U.N.'s Congo mission Florence Marchal, referring to a village near the city of Beni.

Army spokesman Mak Hazukay said the attacks were carried out simultaneously and blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan Islamist group active near the border between Congo and Uganda, for the attacks. He said the U.N. base houses Tanzanian peacekeepers that formed part of an intervention brigade which has a mandate to conduct offensive operations against militants.

ADF is believed by authorities to have ambushed and killed many civilians nearby this weekend after a lull in attacks against civilians near Beni this year.

Congolese authorities have blamed the ADF for massacres between 2014-2016 in the area that killed more than 800 people. However, independent and U.N. experts say several armed groups as well as national army commanders have been involved. REUTERS