Feb. 20 (UPI) — Two aid workers were killed and one kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations announced Monday.
The incident occurred over the weekend when armed gunmen attacked an area in the Rutshuru territory of North Kivu, which borders Rwanda and Uganda. The aid workers worked for Hydraulique Sans Frontières, a French non-governmental organization that conducts water projects in developing countries.
“The humanitarian country team condemns, with firmness, the latest attack that led to the tragic loss of colleagues engaged in emergency humanitarian assistance and calls for immediate and unconditional release of the person held hostage,” the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement posted on its website.
“This is an opportunity to make clear that humanitarian workers should never be targeted,” OCHA added. “This attack represents a serious violation of international humanitarian law and standards of emergency aid.”
The North Kivu area has seen several instances of violence in recent weeks.
Last week, three DRC soldiers were killed in a firefight with Rwandan soldiers.
In December, 15 U.N. peacekeepers and five DRC soldiers were killed in an attack authorities believe was carried out by the rebel group, Allied Democratic Forces.