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Sunday, December 20, 1998 Published at 09:07 GMT

World: Africa

Congo government denies rebels hold Brazzaville

The government of Congo-Brazzaville has denied claims by the exiled prime minister, Bernard Kolelas, that his militia has taken control of the capital.

Mr Kolelas told the BBC his supporters had captured all strategic points in Brazzaville including the town centre, airport and post office.

Mr Kolelas, who is currently in the United States, said he did not rule out returning to Congo to take power.

A government spokesman Francois Ibovi said Mr Kolelas was suffering a total delusion.

He said government troops controlled the southern parts of Brazzaville, and troops were being moved to the northern districts to mop up troublemakers.

Foreign radio reports have also cast doubt on Mr Kolelas' claim.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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