Five U.N. military personnel have been killed since Wednesday during operations in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a U.N. official.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told VOA News Thursday that the fatalities occurred 'near Beni,' a city close to the offensive, during joint operations with the Congolese military against rebels of the Allied Democratic Group.
The ADF is a rebel force with Ugandan origins that has been active in Congo in recent years.
The French news agency AFP reports that U.N. peacekeepers and Congolese troops were injured this week during an offensive against the ADF.
Separate media reports said Thursday that four Malawian U.N. soldiers had been killed.
The U.N. mission in Congo, MONUSCO, a force of about 18,000 soldiers, has been present in the DRC for almost two decades as the country has suffered through wars and constant internal violence.