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France calls for UN Security Council meeting on DRC violence

M23 recruits train at a camp in Rumangabo.
M23 recruits train at a camp in Rumangabo. Reuters/James Akena

France on Thursday requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting on a surge in fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), envoys in New York told news agencies.

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The meeting, which should be held later Thursday, comes after a UN peacekeeper was killed in a clash with M23 rebels near the key eastern city of Goma.

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Fresh fighting flared up in eastern DRC on Thursday, with artillery fire reported around Goma, a day after a Tanzanian soldier with the UN force was killed and three South African troops wounded.

South African snipers hit M23 targets, including a machine-gun post, according to sources, while helicopters from the UN's Monusco force supply lines between Goma and Rwanda.

A Rwandan woman was killed in what Kigali called "deliberate" cross-border shelling.

The UN and the DRC government accuse Rwanda of supporting the M23, a predominantly Tutsi force that accuses Kinshasa of reneging on a 2009 peace deal and an agreement to hold peace talks and has threatened to attack Goma again.

The UN intervention force has an unprecedented mandate to battle armed movements in eastern DRC alongside the DRC army.

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