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UN reports tense situation in eastern DR Congo after rebel attacks, deadly blast

United Nations, USA | Xinhua | Attacks by the M23 Movement rebels and an explosion wounding 18 civilians leave a tense situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO, reported a tense situation following clashes earlier this week between the M23 and the DRC army in the country’s east, said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

One clash was in the southeast of Kitchanga, in North Kivu province, while other fights, including heavy weapons, occurred in Kishishe, about 25 km northwest of Rutshuru in the same province, Dujarric said.

“This follows a series of assaults two days ago by the M23 on positions of the Congolese army west of Rutshuru,” he said. “This resulted in the displacement of about 4,300 households. About 450 people sought shelter in and around the UN base in Kitchanga, where they were provided with tents, food, water and first aid.”

The spokesman said that UN peacekeepers are carrying out regular patrols around the base and the neighboring villages to deter armed groups from causing harm to civilians.

The mission reported on Wednesday that an explosion in the city of Beni in North Kivu wounded at least 18 civilians, including 13 women. Four of the women were in critical condition, Dujarric said.

The UN Mine Action Service sent a specialized team to investigate, he said.

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