UNITED NATIONSUN  - Secretary-General An-tonio Guterres said he was saddened by the deaths of eight peacekeepers in a hel-icopter crash in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Tuesday.

The secretary-general was deeply sad-dened to confirm the deaths of eight peacekeepers onboard a Puma helicopter that crashed in North Kivu province of the DRC, Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman, said in a statement.

The helicopter was on a reconnaissance mission in Tshanzu, where there have been clashes between the March 23 Movement (M23) rebel group and the DRC military in recent days, it said, add-ing that an investigation is underway.

Guterres expressed his sincere condo-lences to the bereaved families and the governments of Pakistan, Russia and Ser-bia, the peacekeepers’ home countries.

He is deeply concerned by the resurgence of M23 activities in the Rwanda-DRC-Uganda border area and the ongoing im-pact of violence involving armed groups on civilians, said the statement.

The secretary-general reiterated the UN’s commitment to supporting the Congo-lese government and people in their ef-fort to bring peace and stability to the eastern provinces of the country, it said.

The DRC military said Tuesday that the UN helicopter was shot down by M23 re-bels, which is yet to be confirmed by the United Nations.