A Congolese army soldier aims artillery towards Kibumba Hill, which is occupied by M23 rebels, around 25kms from the provincial capital Goma, in eastern Congo Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. The Congolese army says it has taken two more towns in the North Kivu province of eastern Congo in fresh fighting around Kibumba town using tanks and heavy artillery against the M23 rebels. (AP Photo/Joseph Kay)
GOMA, Congo (AP) -- The Congolese army took three towns in eastern Congo Sunday in fresh fighting against the M23 rebels, said the army spokesman.
The army says it has found two mass graves in Kibumba, a town it took on Saturday, according to the provincial governor.
The army on Sunday gained control of Rutshuru, Kiwanja and Buhumba towns in the Rutshuru area of North Kivu province, near Congo's border with Rwanda, army spokesman Lt. Col. Olivier Hamuli told The Associated Press.
It was not possible to independently verify that the army holds those three towns.
A United Nations peacekeeper, a lieutenant from Tanzania, was killed in Kiwanja, while protecting the civilian population, according to Sy Koumbo, UN information officer. Another Tanzanian soldier was injured, she said.
The army, using tanks and hseavy artillery, is also fighting the M23 rebels in the hills surrounding Kibumba town. The army said it won control of Kibumba on Saturday and now is advancing on the M23 rebels who retreated to the hills toward the Rwandan border.
In Kibumba, the army discovered two mass graves, North Kivu Governor Julien Paluku told AP. The army has been ordered not to touch the graves so that they can be investigated by the government and the United Nations peacekeeping mission to Congo.
U.N. forces are not participating in the fighting, but are in armored personnel carriers and jeeps with mounted machine guns several kilometers (miles) behind the army forces.