Rebels kill three Indian peacekeepers in Congo

Rebels kill three Indian peacekeepers in Congo

Indian Army spokesman Virendra Singh said up to 50 rebels attacked a base in Kirumba in North Kivu province around 2 am, leading to an exchange of gunfire.

Nearly 4,000 Indian army soldiers are part of the UN Congo peacekeeping mission, which has about 20,000 people from various countries.

Repeated rebel attacks in Congo have called into question the ability of the UN force to protect civilians. The mission known as MONUC has lost more than 100 peacekeepers since 1999.

Congo’s president has said that he wants all the peacekeepers out before Sept 2011 and the UN started a nominal withdrawal last month. But it warned that violence may spiral out of control if the peacekeepers leave.

Rebels ousted longtime dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997, then turned on each other in back-to-back civil wars that became an international scramble for the country’s minerals and drew in soldiers from more than half a dozen African nations.

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