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36 Killed As Government Troops, M 23 Militia Rebels Clash In DR Congo

At least 36 people have been killed and several others injured after deadly clashes erupted between the government troops and militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 The military and the United Nations say that over 3,000 people have fled their homes and are camping around a UN peace force base in Kitchanga area of North Kivu Province.

Correspondents in the area said that the APCLS militia attacked the town targeting Kinyarwada speakers who are seen as supporters of the rival M23 rebels.

About 800,000 people have fled fighting since the M23 rebellion began in May last year.

The militia group briefly seized the strategic town of Goma which is the main city in the east, in November, but has been beset by infighting this week.

Regional African leaders on Sunday reached an agreement and signed a UN-brokered accord to end the conflict.

The east of DR Congo is said to be home to numerous militia groups all battling for control of mineral-rich territory.

A spokesman for the UN mission in DR Congo (Monusco), Eduardo del Buey, said that the fighting in Kitchanga - about 80km west of Goma - erupted on Wednesday. This is according to a BBC report.

Ten civilians were said to be among those killed during the deadly confrontations between the militia and the military.

"This morning Monusco reported gunshots in the area. The mission says that between 3,000 and 4,000 Congolese have now taken refuge around its base in Kitchanga," AFP news agency quoted Buey as saying.

A UN peacekeeper is also among at least 50 people who have been wounded in the clashes.

Military sources told UN-backed Radio Okapi that 30 houses were also torched in the fighting.

The M23 says it has sacked its political leader Jean-Marie Runiga accusing him of treason.

Earlier this week at least eight people have been killed in clashes in Rutshuru - about 70km north of Goma - between rival factions of the M23.

DR CONGO 3364718285489140161

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