UN reports renewed violence in eastern Congo

Posted: 09/26/13 at 7:25 am EDT

GOMA, Congo (AP) -- A spokesman for the U.N. mission in eastern Congo says renewed fighting has broken out between M23 rebels and the Congolese army.

Alexandre Essome said Thursday that fresh violence had erupted near the town of Mabenga, north of the regional capital of Goma.

Omar Kavota, a spokesman for a local civil society group, said that rebels had attacked Mabenga around 3 a.m. and later assaulted two other communities in the area.

M23 president Bertrand Bisimwa, however, said it was government forces and their allies who had attacked first.

The M23 fighters launched their rebellion last year, and peace talks with the government have repeatedly stalled. The latest round of meetings got under way earlier this month, and mediators had called for a cease-fire to give those talks a chance.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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