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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:36 PM

Rebels in Congo reach door of Goma

Source: AP-Excite

By MELANIE GOUBY

GOMA, Congo (AP) - A rebel group believed to be backed by Rwanda advanced to within two miles (three kilometers) of Goma, a crucial provincial capital in eastern Congo, marking the first time that rebels have come this close since 2008.

Congolese army spokesman Col. Olivier Hamuli said the fighting has been going on since 6 a.m. Sunday and the front line has moved to just a few miles (kilometers) outside the city. After more than nine hours of violent clashes, the two sides took a break just after 3 p.m., with M23 rebels establishing a checkpoint just 100 meters (yards) away from one held by the military in the village of Munigi, exactly 1.8 miles (three kilometers) outside the Goma city line.

M23 spokesman Col. Vianney Kazarama initially said the rebels would spend the night in Goma. In the afternoon after the fighting stopped, he said, "We can take Goma easily now, we have pushed the Congolese army back over 10 kilometers (six miles) in one day."

"We are confident that we can take Goma and then our next step will be to take Bukavu," he said, referring to the capital of the next province to the south.

FULL story at link.


Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20121118/DA2KN75G0.html




In this Aug. 5, 2012 file photo, an M23 rebel walks the streets of the North Kivu town of Rubare near Rutshuru, 75 km (48 miles) north of Goma, Congo. The Rwandan-backed rebel group advanced to within 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) of Goma, a crucial provincial capital in eastern Congo, marking the first time that rebels have come this close since 2008. Congolese army spokesman Col. Olivier Hamuli said the fighting has been going on since 6 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, and the frontline has moved to just a few kilometers (miles) outside the city.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

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