UN Congolese troops with attack helicopters have opened fire against M23 rebels positions 1307122

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Defense News - Democratic Republic of Congo

 
 
Friday, July 13, 2012, 09:18 AM
 
UN and Congolese troops with attack helicopters have opened fire against M23 rebels positions.
MONUC (Security Council established the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and government helicopter gunships have opened fire on suspected rebel positions in eastern DR Congo. The attack against the M23 rebels took place north of the town of Goma, close to the border with Rwanda, the UN said.
     
MONUC (Security Council established the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and government helicopter gunships have opened fire on suspected rebel positions in eastern DR Congo. The attack against the M23 rebels took place north of the town of Goma, close to the border with Rwanda, the UN said.
A M23 rebel fighter inspects an 82mm mortar at their defense position in Karambi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012.

     

The Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that three helicopters belonging to the UN mission in DR Congo, Monusco, and two gunships of the DR Congo army (FARDC) were seen and explosions were heard around the towns of Nkokwe and Bukima, where rebels from the M23 group are thought to have some positions. Officials from the UN and the army confirmed to AFP that attacks were under way.

Last week, the rebels overran a UN base on the Ugandan border, killing one peacekeeper and forcing an evacuation.

The Tutsi-led rebels, who took up arms in April as part of a mutiny led by Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda, began taking positions north of Goma approximately a week ago.

They have withdrawn from several towns they took over the weekend, but have threatened to retake them should civilians perceived to be aligned to them continue to be attacked.

The rebels are accused by the UN and Congo of being backed by Rwanda, although Rwanda denies this.

 

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