politics

Rebel Attack in East Congo Leaves 14 Peacekeepers Dead, UN Says

Uruguayan soldiers of the United Nations' Stabilization Mission at the Uruguayan base in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, on April 21, 2016.

Photographer: Pablo Porciuncula/AFP via Getty Images

Suspected Islamist gunmen attacked a United Nations base in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 14 peacekeepers and five Congolese soldiers, the UN said, in the deadliest attack in the mineral-rich region in months.

A further 53 peacekeepers were injured in the late Thursday assault in Beni territory in North Kivu province, the UN mission said on its website. The assailants are suspected of belonging to the Allied Democratic Forces, and the attack was followed by protracted fighting, it said.

Congo, almost the size of Western Europe and the world’s largest source of cobalt, has for two decades struggled to defeat dozens of local and foreign militias in the east, which has deposits of tin, gold and coltan. The ADF, a Ugandan Islamist armed group, has been active in Congo since 1993.

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