United Nations - The UN Security Council on Friday strongly condemned a rebel ambush on a UN peacekeeper patrol in Democratic Republic of Congo which left an Indian soldier dead.

The 15-nation Security Council and UN leader Ban Ki-moon released statements calling for rebel groups in eastern DR Congo to “immediately” cease all violence.

The Indian peacekeeper in the UN mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO) was fatally injured as DR Congo troops launched an offensive launched Thursday against the M23 rebel group at Bunagana, a town near the Ugandan border, UN officials said.

The Security Council condemned the death “in the strongest terms” and “called upon the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure that the perpetrators of such attacks are swiftly brought to justice.”

Ban “deeply regrets” the death of the Indian peacekeeper, said a statement released by his office. “The secretary general expresses his serious concern about the situation” in eastern DR Congo.

The M23 rebels launched a mutiny against the government early this year after breaking away from the army. Bunagana fell into rebel hands after the clash, according to a M23 spokesman and local civilians.

The UN mission in DR Congo is one of the biggest peacekeeping operations in the world, with some 18,000 troops. - Sapa-AFP