Mortar bombs were fired at a UN peacekeeping base and gunfire could be heard in Democratic Republic of Congo city Beni, an area which has seen a surge in fighting with rebel groups, two sources said.
The attack follows the death of twelve Congolese soldiers and seven UN peacekeepers in clashes with militias last week – one of the deadliest for troops in Congo’s volatile eastern borderlands since a rebel attack in early 2018.
Congolese army spokesman Mak Hazukay said the army was monitoring the situation in Beni and imposed a curfew on parts of the city.
Eastern Congo has been plagued by banditry and armed insurrections for more than two decades since the fall of military ruler Mobutu Sese Seko. The past year saw a surge in violence around North Kivu region.
Beni is the epicentre of the region’s Ebola epidemic and efforts to control the outbreak – the worst in Congo’s history with over 300 infected and two-thirds of those killed – are hampered by insecurity.