Mortar attack kills two South African soldiers in eastern DRC

A mortar attack in the turbulent east of the Democratic Republic of Congo killed two South African soldiers and wounded 20 others, the army reported on Wednesday.

The soldiers were part of a Southern African Development Community force aiding the government in quelling a rebellion.

The South African National Defence Force stated that one of its bases was struck by a “mortar attack” on Tuesday in Sake, a town located 25 kilometres (14 miles) west of Goma, in the restive North Kivu province.

“Four members who were critically injured have been hospitalized, while the rest with minor injuries are expected to be discharged soon,” the army mentioned in a statement.

Since mid-December, South Africa has deployed 2,900 soldiers in eastern DRC as part of a regional force alongside troops from Tanzania and Malawi to support DRC government forces against M23 rebels.

In the past, one South African soldier was killed in May and two others in February.

The DRC’s eastern region has endured 30 years of violence from armed groups. “Families of the two deceased members have been informed, and procedures to repatriate their remains are underway,” the army said.

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