The U.N. peacekeeping mission has suspended flights in Congo's North-Kivu province following an attack on its helicopter last Friday, the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and a World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson said on Monday.
Flights between the provincial capital Goma and eastern cities of Beni and Bunia have been suspended until further notice, Claude Kalinga, WFP spokesperson in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), told Reuters.
"On Friday, February 24, a helicopter operated by UNHAS came under heavy fire about ten minutes outside of Goma as it returned from Walikale to Goma," the UNHAS said in a statement.
The helicopter was able to land in Goma, the U.N. agency said, adding that three crew members and 10 passengers were unharmed.
Kalinga said the armed group that attacked the helicopter has not been identified and that flights would only resume after an assessment of the security situation.
One U.N. peacekeeper was killed in eastern DRC on Feb. 5 when a helicopter operated by the peacekeeping force came under fire while in mid-air, the U.N. peacekeeping mission MONUSCO said.
A U.N. peacekeeping mission of around 18,200 personnel has been deployed in eastern Congo since taking over from a previous U.N. operation in 2010. Its mandate includes supporting the Congolese government's effort to stabilise a region racked by rebel violence.
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