UN Mission Believes 'Luminous Object' Caused Helicopter Crash in DR Congo

© AP Photo / Moses SawasawaA young boy runs towards the United Nations helicopter, Congo, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022
A young boy runs towards the United Nations helicopter,  Congo, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) believes that a "luminous object" caused a recent helicopter crash in the country and does not exclude the possibility of the accident having been an attack.
"First preliminary comments by the force headquarters indicate that the crash was caused by a luminous object. At the moment, we have launched an investigation. We are on sovereign territory, therefore any investigation should be carried out in close cooperation with the authorities to establish the causes of this crash. We don't know them yet, but we aren't ruling out the possibility of an attack on the helicopter," MONUSCO Deputy Special Representative for Protection and Operations Khassim Diagne told French broadcaster RFI on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, MONUSCO said it lost contact with one of its helicopters on a reconnaissance mission in the Tshanzu area in the east of the DRC. There were eight people on board, including six crew members from the Pakistani military, one Russian and one Serbian soldier. The country's armed forces said they believe the helicopter was shot down by M23 rebels.
MONUSCO is a UN peacekeeping operation for the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence, and the support of the government of the DRC in its efforts to stabilize the country. The DRC government has been facing opposition from rebel groups in the eastern part of the country.
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