Seven UN Peacekeepers Injured in Ambush
Seven UN Peacekeepers Injured in Ambush in Eastern Dr of Congo
New York, May 12 2005 4:00PM
Seven United Nations peacekeepers were injured today, one critically, when about 20 "armed elements" ambushed a convoy transporting 40 of them in the troubled Ituri district in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN peacekeeping mission said.
Four peacekeepers were injured in an armed vehicle that turned over and the other three were wounded by gunfire 55 kilometres southeast of Bunia. Of the three who were shot, one was in critical condition, the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) said.
An MI-25 attack helicopter flew in and opened fire on the armed group, it said.
All 40 MONUC peacekeepers in the convoy were evacuated to Bunia, Ituri's principal town, and the three wounded by gunfire would be sent to South Africa.
Two weeks ago, MONUC intervened and supported troops from the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) in a confrontation with former Patriotic Resistance Front of Ituri (FRPI) members in the same area.
In a separate incident on the same day seven former Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) members were captured by the UN blue helmets after an exchange of fire at Iga Barrière between Nizi and Largo, northeast of Bunia.
MONUC said these were the actions of the extremists who have been testing the resolve of the FARDC and MONUC forces and who have declined to join the disarmament, demobilization and community reintegration (DDCR) programme.