The United Nations force in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has condemned attacks against it by M23 rebels and urged them to “immediately cease hostilities”.
In a statement on Twitter, the UN acknowledged "the courage and determination” of its forces who responded to the attacks.
The M23 rebels accuse the UN forces of plotting with government forces and local militia groups to stage “simultaneous attacks” against them.
Heavy fighting on Sunday and Monday morning in the Rutshuru territory of North Kivu pushed thousands of civilians to flee their homes, with others fleeing to Uganda.
M23 spokesman Major Willy Ngoma told the BBC that the UN forces were “seriously shelling at our position with helicopters”.
Mr Ngoma accuses Monusco, the UN mission in DR Congo, of helping a coalition of the army and other militia groups to attack them.
UN forces have the green light to use force to fight the rebel groups, but locals say they have done little in more than 20 years of their deployment there.
The recent clashes come while the government is negotiating disarmament and reintegration with several local rebel groups.
Last month, as talks were starting in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, M23 representatives were ejected from the negotiations after the group was accused of hostilities.