Indian troops on UN mission come under rebels fire in Congo

In the fierce fight after the attack on the Indian company operating base (COB) at Rwindi, eight rebels were killed. The troops recovered two AK-47 assault rifles, three magazines, large quantity of ammunition, three machetes, hand grenades, explosives and other war-like stores, an Army release said here today.

No casualty was reported from the Indian troops. "Indian troops at Rwindi in Congo repulsed an attack by 30-40 armed men likely from Mayi Mayi rebel group on their company operating base(COB). Eight rebels were killed, in the exchange of fire," the release said. The attack took place on October 25 around 2230 Hours.

Rwindi, 140 km north of Goma, is the COB of Indian Battalion-4 in the Virunga National Park. Goma is the capital of the restive North Kivu province of Congo.

"Despite repeated warnings from Indian troops, the rebels continued their advance towards the base, opening fire on peacekeepers and trying to enter the company premises from different directions.

"Our troops retaliated purely in self-defence with an appropriate response as per the 'Rules Of Engagement' to repel the imminent threat. The ensuing clash lasted nearly 20 minutes," the release said.

The Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) subsequently captured some individuals, who are in detention. A detailed investigation into this incident, including the identification of the perpetrators and their motives, is now underway, in coordination with the Congolese authorities, the Army said.

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