DR Congo Rebels Take Town Near Uganda Border

Posted July 6th, 2012 at 9:00 am (UTC-5)
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A U.N. peacekeeper has been killed in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where rebels fought government troops and seized a key border crossing Friday.

A spokesman for the U.N. mission in Congo says a peacekeeper from India was hit and killed during fighting in the town of Bunagana, which the rebels, known as M23, seized Friday morning.

Reports from the area say Bunagana's population has fled across the border to Uganda, along with about 600 Congolese soldiers.

The rebels seized a nearby village, Jomba, during fighting with government troops on Thursday.

Congo's government has tried for years to integrate various rebel groups into the army in hopes of calming the volatile eastern provinces.

Hundreds of soldiers mutinied against the government and formed M23 earlier this year, after complaining about their treatment in the army.

They are believed to be led by Bosco Ntaganda, a militia leader wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.

Rwanda has denied charges, contained in a recent United Nations report, that it is providing material and financial support to the M23 movement. Last week, the United States called on Rwanda to end such support to the rebels.