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Three soldiers killed by mortar on Southern African mission in Congo

THREE soldiers on a Southern African peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo were killed and three others wounded after a hostile mortar round landed near their camp, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said.

Regional bloc SADC deployed its mission to Congo on December 15 last year to help the government address instability and tackle armed groups in its restive eastern region, where violent clashes have escalated in a conflict that has lasted decades.

“This unfortunate incident happened after a hostile mortar round had fallen near the camp they were staying (at),” the 16-member bloc said in a statement.

The dead and injured soldiers were all from Tanzania, it said. Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania contribute soldiers to the mission.

The statement said another South African soldier on the SADC mission had died while receiving treatment for unspecified health issues at a hospital in Goma, but it was not clear whether that death was related to the mortar round.

In February, South Africa’s military said two of its soldiers on the SADC mission were killed and three wounded by a mortar bomb.

In the latest violent episode in Congo’s east, the civilian death toll from a militia attack rose to 25 over the weekend.

By The African Mirror