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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 14:31 GMT
Ninja clashes in Congo's capital
MSF truck seen through a shell hole (photo: Tom Craig)
The scars from a decade of war are everywhere
There has been a second outbreak of fighting this week in the Republic of Congo's capital, Brazzaville.

Government spokesman Alain Akouala said gunfire and rockets were exchanged overnight between two Ninja rebel factions in the south of the city.

But rebels say they were attacked by government soldiers. Calm has returned and shops have opened as usual.

In March, a peace deal was signed with the Ninjas, whose stronghold is in the Pool region, south of the capital.

The BBC's Said Pemba in Brazzaville say there has been one confirmed death so far.

Confusion

One of the Ninja groups involved in the fighting supports the exiled former Prime Minister Bernard Kolelas, and the other a renegade priest, Frederick Bitsangou, also known as Pastor Ntoumi.

There are conflicting reports about what caused the violence, which lasted about two hours.

Mr Akoula said the dispute was over problems with food distribution, but a spokesman for Pastor Ntoumi told the BBC that government soldiers had attacked the pastor's supporters.

Brazzaville has been called the world's worst city to live in, with half of the city's houses left in ruins from the decade-long civil war.




SEE ALSO:
Surviving Congo's Ninja rebels
04 Dec 03  |  Africa
Congo peace deal signed
18 Mar 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Republic of Congo
09 Oct 03  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Republic of Congo
07 May 03  |  Country profiles


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