A Nepalese peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who went with his unit to search for militia weapons in a market in the north-eastern Ituri district was seriously wounded by a shot to the head over the weekend.
During the operation by more than 30 UN "blue helmets" in Fataki, their base around 70 kilometres north of the city of Bunia, the patrol came under fire in the market place, the United Nations Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) said. The unit returned fire and was able to capture one of the attackers, while the other suspected militia members escaped.
The peacekeeper received a gunshot wound to the head and was evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in the DRC capital, Kinshasa, where he was listed in a stable condition, it said.
According to local reports, the militia was the Union of Congolese Patriots-Lubanga faction (UPC/L, Union des patriotes congolais, aile Thomas Lubanga), MONUC said.
It noted that its operations in Ituri district had removed armed groups, giving as an example its operations in a region north-east of Bunia, in which a UN peacekeeping South African company, based in Gina, disarmed about 100 UPC/L members.