Armed guerillas attacked a heavily fortified Indian Army base in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the dead of night on Tuesday, killing three Indian peacekeepers and injuring seven others.
The army said fighters belonging to a fringe rebel group, Mai Mai, may have carried out the brazen five-minute assault, one of the worst attacks on Indian peacekeepers serving the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Congo.
An army spokesperson said five Congolese civilians approached the Kirumba outpost, some 150 km from the Indian brigade’s headquarters in Goma, seeking assistance.
“While they engaged the guard in conversation, a group of 50-60 rebels attacked the post from the surrounding jungle,” an army spokesperson said. The attack took place at around 1.50 am local time (5.20 am IST).
The rebels attacked the soldiers from 19 Kumaon with automatic weapons, machetes (large knifes) and spears. The casualties could have higher had the rebels breached the outer gate of the camp.
The attackers retreated and vanished into the jungles in the shadows of the Virunga Mountains after Indian soldiers launched a counter-assault.
More than 4,500 Indian soldiers are part of the UN’s costliest peacekeeping mission in the world with an annual budget of over US $1.3 billion.