HEAVY fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has left a second South African soldier injured, while South African special forces snipers have killed at least six senior M23 rebel officers.
The deaths and injury – the second to have occurred in the last week – come as clashes between DRC government forces, backed by the UN intervention brigade, lead assaults on rebel positions.
Fighting has increased since clashes over the weekend in which a South African soldier, along with three Tanzanian troops, were slightly injured in an M23 mortar attack.
More than 1000 South African soldiers from 6South African Infantry Battalion in the Eastern Cape, along with Tanzanian troops, make up the UN's 3000-strong intervention brigade.
The M23 are heavily armed – believed to be supplied by Rwanda, a claim that country denies.
South African National Defence Union national secretary Pikkie Greeff said "a number" of rebels had been killed.
M23 president, Bertrand Bisimwa yesterday said: "There was a big offensive this morning. The government's army, helped by the UN, attacked our positions near Goma with aircraft, tanks and infantry." – Additional reporting by Sapa-AP