TITLE=CONGO BOMBING (L-ONLY)
INTRO: A rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of
Congo says more than 500 people have been killed in a
bombing raid in the north of the country (Wednesday).
Reporter Todd Pitman has more from Kigali.
TEXT: Rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba says one
Sudanese aircraft backing the government of president
Laurent Kabila dropped 18-bombs on two fishing
villages (early Wednesday) in northern Congo.
Mr. Bemba says 384 civilians and 134 rebel soldiers
were killed in Makanza and Bogbonga, both located some
800-kilometers northeast of the Congolese capital
Rebel officials in contact with the area by radio said
the towns, located on opposite sides of the Congo
River, are now empty and most residents have fled into
the surrounding bush.
The news comes just days after Mr. Bemba signed a
cease-fire deal worked out by six African governments
involved in the year-old war.
Mr. Bemba said his troops have been on the defensive
since he signed the accord Sunday, but says for him
the cease-fire is now over.
Mr. Bemba's Congolese Liberation Movement, the M-L-C,
sprang up in northern Congo last November and is
heavily backed by Ugandan soldiers deployed throughout
The M-L-C has made a series of gains in recent weeks,
capturing Zongo on the border with the Central African
Republic as well as Gbadolite, the home-town of late
dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. (SIGNED)
04-Aug-1999 12:28 PM EDT (04-Aug-1999 1628 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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