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DATE=8/4/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=CONGO BOMBING (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-252481 BYLINE=TODD PITMAN DATELINE=KIGALI CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 Kinsahsa. 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 area. 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) NEB/TP/PCF/RAE 04-Aug-1999 12:28 PM EDT (04-Aug-1999 1628 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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