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Tuesday, 2 May, 2000, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Troops, rebels clash in DR Congo
Congolese rebels
The rebels allegedly attacked government forces
The Defence Ministry in the Democratic Republic of Congo says at least 30 people have been killed in fighting between government forces and rebels in the northern Equateur province.

Laurent Kabila
President Kabila wants speedy deloyment of UN troops

Officials from the ministry in Kinshasa said the fighting took place last week, when the rebels launched a surprise attack on government forces near Lilenga, about 900 km north-east of the capital.

A statement from the ministry said 27 rebels and three government soldiers were killed, while seven government soldiers are reported missing.

There has been no rebel comment on the government report.

Fresh diplomatic efforts

The latest reports come a day after a summit held in Algeria to discuss efforts to end the war in DR Congo.

The summit in Algiers was attended by the heads of state of Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Mali, DR Congo and Algeria.

Significantly, the key foreign backers involved in the war - Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola on the government side, and Rwanda and Uganda on the side of the rebels - did not attend the summit.

After the summit, Nigeria and South Africa pledged to supply troops for rapid UN deployment - a move welcomed by the Congolese President, Laurent Kabila.

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See also:

30 Apr 00 | Africa
Kabila: UN 'dragging its feet'
24 Feb 00 | Africa
UN approves Congo force
03 Dec 98 | Zimbabwe
Mugabe's unpopular war
01 May 00 | Africa
DR Congo peace force pledge
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