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Last Updated: Friday, 13 May, 2005, 02:30 GMT 03:30 UK
UN soldiers attacked in DR Congo
UN peacekeeper holding gun handed over by Congolese militiaman
The UN is trying to disarm the Ituri militias
The United Nations says a Bangladeshi peacekeeper has died in an attack in the eastern Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A UN spokesman said several other Bangladeshi troops were injured when their convoy was ambushed in an area south-east of the town of Bunia.

The official said the UN contingent had responded strongly to the attackers.

In April, the UN lost some Bangladeshi troops in the area, and killed around 50 militiamen during ensuing fighting.

Jeep overturned

In the latest incident, four UN vehicles were patrolling 55km (34 miles) from Bunia when the gunmen opened fire on them.

At least three Bangladeshis were injured when one jeep overturned. One died and two were wounded in the crossfire.

A UN attack helicopter fired on the militiamen but there are no reports of casualties, AFP news agency said.

Various militia groups have continuously fought over the Ituri region of the Congo, with backing from Uganda, Rwanda and the Congolese authorities in a struggle to control the gold and other minerals in the area.

Around 50,000 people have died in the clashes in the region since 1999.

The UN mission has more than 15,000 peacekeepers in the country, but has struggled to keep a lid on violence in the east.

More than 9,000 militamen have been disarmed in Ituri under a UN programme launched in September last year and planned for completion in June.

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