UN peacekeeper killed in Congo fighting: Official

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - New clashes on Wednesday between rebels and UN-backed government forces in eastern Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo left one UN peacekeeper dead and three wounded, a spokesman said.

UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York the peacekeeper was killed in a battle with M23 rebels near the key eastern city of Goma.

The DR Congo army and UN troops launched an operation on Wednesday against the M23, who have been battling government forces around Goma since March last year.

The rebels have used positions on hills north of Goma to launch artillery attacks on the city.

UN troops, including from the landmark new offensive intervention brigade, fired mortars and used attack helicopters in the battle.

"The operation is ongoing and we have just heard that one UN peacekeeper has been killed and three others have been wounded," Haq said.