NEW DELHI: Two Indian Army peacekeepers sustained injuries after 30 heavily armed militants attack their post in the troubled North Kivu province in Congo, but Indian forces managed to kill three of the militants after a fierce gunfight. At present India has a total of 2,664 military personnel deployed in Congo under the UN mission there and India has been a major contributor to UN peacekeeping missions with nearly 7,600 military and police personnel in UN peace operations in countries like Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, Liberia, the Middle East, South Sudan, Sudan and the Western Sahara.
According to a statement issued by Army Indian peacekeepers under the UN mission in Congo have repulsed a major strike by around 30 members of a militia on their post. Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said that the attack on the peacekeepers' post was carried out on Friday in Lubero by the Mai Mai group which have recently been targeting Congolese Army positions, which is about 300km north of Goma. It is the main town of North Kivu province where dozens of illegal armed groups control several villages.
"Indian peacekeepers repulsed the attack in which three of the attackers were killed and one was wounded. But during the attack, two Indian peacekeepers," Col Anand said.
"Friday's attack was a rare frontal assault on the UN forces deployed for protecting civilians in Congo," said the Army spokesperson.
Previously, an attack by rebels on an Indian post took place in 2010 in Kirumba in North Kivu province when three Indian soldiers were killed after the attackers were able to intrude the base, army sources said. Officials claim that President Joseph Kabila's refusal to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate last December has fuelled unrest in the country's eastern provinces.
They said the Indian brigade currently conducts an average of 2,300 patrols per month in the troubled region, apart from ensuring the protection of civilians.