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Islamic attack kills at least 15 UN peacekeepers and five soldiers in Congo

4

Calm down. After all, it’s a religion of peace. And the global jihad has no better friend than the United Nations. The loss is the most serious suffered in a single day by the UN since 24 soldiers were killed in an ambush in Somalia (jihad again) in 1993.

Details have emerged of a well-coordinated and complex operation launched at dusk. The Muslim attackers, armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, destroyed two armoured personnel carriers, an ambulance and a truck.

Islamist attack kills at least 15 UN peacekeepers and five soldiers in DRC

António Guterres, UN secretary general, described the attack by an Islamist extremist group as a ‘war crime’

The Guardian, December 9, 2017:

Heavily armed militants have killed at least 15 peacekeepers and five soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in one of the worst attacks on United Nations personnel in recent memory.

More than 50 peacekeepers were left wounded after fighters from a local Islamist extremist group overran a remote base in the east of the vast central African country after hours of confused fighting late on Thursday.

Many casualties are in a critical condition and the death toll is expected to rise.

António Guterres, the UN secretary general, described the attack as the worst in the UN’s recent history and “a war crime”.

“Today is a very tragic day for the UN family … I condemn this attack unequivocally,” Guterres said.

The loss is the most serious suffered in a single day by the UN since 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in an ambush in Somalia in 1993. Local officials said Congolese army troops stationed several miles from the base also sustained casualties when they attempted to come to the aid of the UN forces, but were ambushed and beaten back.

The UN mission in DRC said on Friday it was coordinating medical evacuations from the base, situated near a bridge on the river Semuliki, 25 miles (40km) north-east of the town of Beni.

Details have emerged of a well-coordinated and complex operation launched at dusk. The attackers, armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, destroyed two armoured personnel carriers, an ambulance and a truck before withdrawing.

UN attack helicopters have limited night vision equipment and remained grounded throughout the four-hour assault.

Most of the dead and wounded are believed to be from Tanzania, which has more than a thousand soldiers serving as peacekeepers in DRC. The base was home to the peacekeeping mission’s rapid intervention force, which has a rare mandate to go on the offensive.

The Tanzanian contingent is generally considered among the better armed and trained elements of the 21,000-strong UN force.

 

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