Three Kenyans and 21 Tanzanians are said to have been kidnapped by rebels while heading to Namoya gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The three Kenyans, all truck drivers, together with 21 Tanzanian citizens were abducted by the Mai-Mai - a militia group based in DRC while driving trucks belonging to two Tanzanian companies.
The Mai-Mai terror group has constantly clashed with Congolese army in the past few years, after carrying a series of attacks targeting civilians and government officials.
In September, last year, the militia group kidnapped eight drivers and burnt four Tanzanian trucks in South Kivu, prompting Congolese Soldiers to launch an operation in South Kivu to flash out the militants, an operation that has so far left 12 people dead.
Tanzanian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mindi Kasiga said that the three Kenyans and 21 Tanzanians were kidnapped in a convoy headed to Namoya Goldmine.
"They were kidnapped by Mai-Mai fighters on June 29 in Lulimba, in South Kivu province, while they were on their way to the Namoya gold mine in Maniema province," Kasiga said.
"According to information coming from the Tanzanian embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Mai-Mai rebels attacked the convoy which was being escorted by soldiers from the Congolese army."
"Our forces are progressing towards the final barrier, the Misisi area, four fighters had been captured and heavy weapons recovered. The enemy has retreated behind the hills." regional deputy army spokesman Dieudonne Kasereka said.