United Nations (UN) and Pakistani officials confirmed that eight UN peacekeepers died in a helicopter crash in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on March 29.
UN spokesperson Stephanie Dujarric told reporters in New York that six Pakistanis, a Russian, and a Serb died when the helicopter they were on went down in North Kivu province.
Earlier, the UN Stabilization Mission in DRC said on Twitter that it “lost contact” with the helicopter on a reconnaissance mission in Tshanzu.
Dujarric declined to say what caused the crash, but said that an investigation was ongoing.
The Pakistani military also said that the “exact cause of crash is yet to be ascertained.”
The Congolese military claimed that M23 rebels “shot down” the helicopter, while the rebel group accused the Congolese military for the crash.
M23 spokesperson Willy Ngoma told VOA’s French to Africa Service in an interview that the Congolese military shot down the aircraft while firing on rebels.
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