Claim: DR Congo Rebels Kill 20 Pro-Government Forces in Katanga
Rebels opposed to President Laurent Kabila killed 20 pro-government troops who launched attacks, backed by heavy armour, in Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the rebels said Tuesday.
Lola Kinsanga of the Rwandan-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), said soldiers of the Congolese Armed Force (FAC), Interahamwe militia foes of Rwanda's government and their allies had attacked in several places.
"Twenty Interahamwe, FAC and allied troops were killed in attacks by Kabila's forces against Nyunzu, Kasinge and Monono," the deputy spokesman for the RCD said by telephone from the rebel base at Goma on the Rwandan border.
"Since Sunday night, ground attacks involving heavy artillery and tanks have been launched against our positions, but we managed to rout the enemy," Kisanga said.
The towns under attack lie west of Lake Tanganyika in the north of Kabila's native mineral-rich Katanga Province, where rebels and their Rwandan military allies have pressed as far south as Pweto on the shores of Lake Mweru.
One of Kabila's main supporters, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, last week warned in Kinshasa that if the Rwandans failed to pull back from Pweto, the allies would drive them out, using "all means at their disposal".
Kisanga said that the offensive "follows several months of preparations and Kabila's men are very numerous, all in breach of the Lusaka accords" signed by all parties to the conflict by the end of August 1999.
These accords included a cease-fire agreement, which has frequently been violated by both sides – (AFP)
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