Kinshasa: A UN soldier from India was killed in clashes between renegade soldiers and DR Congo troops on the border with Uganda, the United Nations said today as the mutineers took a key border post.
The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) said the Indian peacekeeper was fatally wounded by shrapnel during the fighting.
"It wasn't a direct hit. He died from his wounds," MONUSCO spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai told AFP.
The DR Congo's forces on Thursday launched an offensive to rout the mutinous armed troops known as M23 near the Virunga national park which is home to one of the biggest populations of mountain gorillas.
But the M23 repulsed loyalist forces and the mutineers took the border town of Bunagana around 6:00 am (0930 IST), M23 lieutenant colonel Vianney Kazarama told AFP.
"The mutineers took control of the entire town. The entire population and the (Congolese) troops are in Uganda," a police source in the area told AFP separately. A Bunagana resident said, "It's over, the place has been occupied by the rebels. We're all crammed in on the Ugandan side."
The spokesman for the rebels said Bunagana was being evacuated. "M23 police will stay there," he added. Bunagana is about 10 kilometres from the positions of mutineers who have gathered in the hills in the southeast of Virunga national park since May.
The park, home to rare mountain gorillas, borders Uganda and Rwanda about 50 kilometres north of Nord-Kivu's main town of Goma.
Story first published:
July 06, 2012 17:21 IST