TITLE=CONGO REBEL FIGHTING (L ONLY)
INTRO: Rebels fighting to oust Congo President
Laurent Kabila are claiming new gains in the north of
the country. Todd Pitman reports from Kigali and
TEXT: The head of the Ugandan-backed Congolese
Liberation Movement, Jean-Pierre Bemba, says fighting
has broken out between rebels and government troops at
Basankusu, about 800-kilometers northeast of the Congo
Mr. Bemba says his troops now control the town. But
he says it was looted by government soldiers during
skirmishes earlier this week.
Mr. Bemba says rebels captured 120-prisoners at
Basankusu, a supply boat filled with ammunition and
troops, and a bomber that had been used to hit rebel
positions for months.
Mr. Bemba says rebel troops also repelled an attack at
Bongandanga, 145-kilometers to the northeast.
There was no independent confirmation of the rebel
Each side in Congo's war is charging that the other
sparked the latest fighting in the northwest,
violating a cease-fire signed three-months ago.
Another rebel group, the Rwandan-backed Congolese
Rally for Democracy, has reported similar fighting
during the past week near Bokungu - 350-kilometers
southeast of Basankusu.
The Congolese Rally for Democracy says government
troops are trying to break through rebel lines to
liberate two to three-thousand Zimbabwean, Namibian,
and Congolese troops who are surrounded at an airport
in Ikela, a small town in rebel-held territory.
Zimbabwe has admitted its troops are surrounded at
Ikela and has accused rebels of trying to cut off
supply lines by land and river, and of firing at
planes trying to land there.
But Zimbabwe has vowed it will continue bombing rebel
positions around Ikela in order to protect its troops
and push rebels out of the area. (SIGNED)
02-Dec-1999 10:32 AM EDT (02-Dec-1999 1532 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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