Mortar bombs fired at UN peacekeeping base in Congo

Published: November 17, 2018 12:02:21 | Updated: November 20, 2018 15:18:15

The entrance to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) compound of Boikene Camp is seen locked in Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, November 16, 2018 - Reuters/Samuel Mambo

Mortar bombs were fired at a UN peacekeeping base and gunfire could be heard in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern city of Beni, an area which has seen a surge in fighting with rebel groups, two sources said on Friday.

The attack follows the death of twelve Congolese soldiers and seven UN peacekeepers in clashes with militias earlier this week - one of the deadliest for troops in Congo’s volatile eastern borderlands since a rebel attack in early 2018.

Congolese army spokesman Mak Hazukay said the army was monitoring the situation in Beni and had imposed a curfew on part of the city.

Eastern Congo has been plagued by banditry and armed insurrections for more than two decades since the fall of military ruler Mobutu Sese Seko, reports Reuters. The past year has seen a surge in violence around North Kivu region.

Beni is the epicentre of the region’s Ebola epidemic and efforts to control the outbreak - the worst in Congo’s history with over 300 infected and two-thirds of those killed - have been hampered by insecurity.

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