An Irish mountaineer and charity fundraiser has died while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Ian McKeever, who was 42 and from Lough Dan in Wicklow, was leading a group of climbers when they were struck by lightning.
Mr McKeever was a leading member of the Kilimanjaro Achievers Team, a group of veteran climbers which led groups to the top of the mountain.
In 2007, the adventurer had scaled Mount Everest.
He is also the former holder of the record for completing the seven highest peaks in the world in the fastest time - 32 days fewer than the previous record.
In 2009, he was part of a team that attempted to row the South Atlantic Ocean in under 30 days, but the boat lost its rudder and they were forced to postpone the attempt.
More recently he had been attempting, along with African climbing guide friend Samuel Kinsonga, to break the record for the fastest ascent of Kilimanjaro, as part of their anti-racism Black and White Makes Sense Campaign.
Mr McKeever was the author of two books - Give Me Shelter and Give Me Heroes - and was working on a third book Give Me 28 Days.
On his Facebook page on Wednesday night, a statement said: "It is with deep regret, that we, Ian's family, fiancee Anna and friends, advise of his sudden death on Kilimanjaro, today, doing what he loved best."
Mr McKeever had been posting messages on the site during the ascent of the mountain.
His last post, on Tuesday, said: "Shira 2, 4,000m. Torrential rain all day. Spirits remain good even if drying clothes is proving impossible! We pray for dryer weather tomorrow - the big day. It's the Lava Tower."
It is understood none of the other climbers suffered serious injuries.
In a message of condolence, Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny said: "I was very saddened to hear of the death of renowned adventurer Ian McKeever.
"I had come to know him over recent years and I admired him not only for his own achievements and charity work but also for his work with young people in challenging them to achieve their full potential.
"He was extremely passionate about what he did and driven in his belief that everybody can achieve their potential during their lifetime.
"Ian said to me once that there was no place he would rather be than in the mountains."
The M23 rebel group has threatened to pull out of peace talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo government unless President Joseph Kabila signs a ceasefire agreement.
Talks are due to start in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on Friday.
A Congo government spokesman told the Reuters news agency it rejected a rebel demand he described as "pointless".
A first attempt to negotiate an end to the nine-month rebellion in the east of the country failed last month.
As many as 800,000 people have been displaced since the rebels took up arms against the Kinshasa government last May, accusing it of failing to honour an earlier peace deal to integrate rebels into the army.
The rebels, led by Bosco Ntaganda who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, made rapid gains late last year.
They seized the main city in the region, Goma, in November, but withdrew under international pressure.
The head of their political wing, Jean-Marie Runiga, told journalists on Thursday the government had not matched his group's offer of a ceasefire and had been reinforcing its positions.
"If Kinshasa continues to refuse to sign a ceasefire, M23 is going to ask its delegation to return to DRC," Mr Runiga said.