File: Congolese government soldiers aboard a pick up truck near Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, 25 November, 2012. Photo: EPA / Dai Kurokawa
KINSHASA - At least 30 people including a UN peacekeeper were killed in clashes pitting the army and UN troops against Ugandan rebels in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local sources said on Monday.
Local activists say at least 500 civilians have been killed in the area since October 2014, most in overnight raids by rebels carried out with machetes and hatchets.
Sunday's clashes broke out in the town of Eringeti, 55 km (35 miles) north of the regional hub of Beni, when ADF rebels attacked a military headquarters, said the Center of Study for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights, a group that documents violence in North Kivu province.
The army and UN forces have resumed cooperation against the ADF, a group led by Islamist radicals that has operated on the Congolese side of the border since the 1990s, where it is active in the illicit trade in timber and gold.
Congolese forces killed at least 14 rebels while rebels killed at least seven civilians with machetes. Eight Congolese soldiers and one UN peacekeeper from the Force Intervention Brigade, which has a mandate to conduct offensive operations, died in combat, the group said in a statement.
The UN mission and Congolese army had no immediate comment but a UN source said a Malawian peacekeeper from the brigade had been killed.