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Monday, 12 January, 1998, 18:44 GMT
Rwandan army 'kills 18 Hutu rebels'

The Tutsi-dominated Rwandan army says it killed eighteen Hutu militiamen near Gisenyi on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

An army spokesman told reporters the battle was fought yesterday and government troops were still pursuing the rebels.

Diplomats in Central Africa say that Hutu insurgents in Rwanda have formed an alliance with armed Hutu groups in Burundi and with remnants of the former Zairean army of President Mobutu.

The Rwandan defence ministry also said that five Roman Catholic nuns were among around thirty civilians killed in random attacks by Hutu insurgents since the New Year.

Last month about two hundred Tutsi civilians were killed near Gisenyi in Rwanda in a Hutu attack.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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