At least 12 UN peacekeepers and at least five members of Congo's armed forces were killed in an attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN secretary general said Friday, citing early reports.
The 12 peacekeepers were Tanzanians, Antonio Guterres said. At least 40 others were injured, at least four of them critically, he said. The incident took place in North Kivu, located in the eastern part of the country.
"These deliberate attacks against UN peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime," Guterres said Friday. "This is the worst attack on UN peacekeepers in the Organization's recent history. It is another indication of the enormous sacrifices made by troop contributing countries in the service of global peace."
Earlier, two UN sources told CNN 14 peacekeepers had been killed.
"I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at last night's attack on the United Nations peacekeepers in the DRC," Guterres said. "I offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and to the government and people of Tanzania."
The largest of the UN's current 15 peacekeeping missions is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with more than 22,000 personnel.