22:14 GMT21 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Seven United Nations peacekeepers were killed during an operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Wednesday along with an unknown number of Congolese military forces in North Kivu province, where health workers are battling an Ebola epidemic, the UN spokesman told reporters on Thursday.

    "Our peacekeeping colleagues tell us that six peacekeepers from Malawi and one from Tanzania, who were part of the UN peacekeeping operation in the DRC were killed yesterday in Beni territory in North Kivu,"  UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "This is the area where there is an Ebola outbreak and insecurity has been an obstacle to the response to the outbreak."

    READ MORE: Confirmed Ebola Cases in DR Congo Rises to 291 — Health Ministry

    Dujarric said initial reports indicate that another 10 peacekeepers were wounded, while one more is missing. Several soldiers from the Congolese armed forces were also reportedly killed or wounded during the operation.

    The peacekeepers were killed during a joint operation carried out by the UN mission and the Congolese armed forces against the Allied Democratic (ADF) rebel group.

    UN officials have warned for weeks that fighting in North Kivu was hampering an international response to the Ebola outbreak, which has infected around 300 people and killed nearly two-thirds of them, according to the Congolese Ministry of Public Health.


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    UN peacekeepers, rebels, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), UN, Democratic Republic of Congo
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