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Army Units Clash in Congo, 18 Reported Dead

Compiled from news services
Saturday, November 29, 1997; Page A18

Army units clashed near the presidential palace and barracks in the Congolese capital, killing at least 18 soldiers, news reports said.

Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some of the gunfire could be related to the arrest Tuesday of a former aide to President Laurent Kabila. Troops patrolled the capital and blocked a road along the presidential palace.

The afternoon firefight near Kabila's offices killed seven soldiers, the local Le Palmares newspaper reported, quoting hospital sources and its own reporters.

Kabila was in his office when the shooting broke out, Le Palmares quoted Interior Minister Mwenze Kongolo as saying.

Earlier, a gun battle around barracks in western Kinshasa killed 11 troops, the newspaper said. But the Interior Ministry in a broadcast on state radio said that only three soldiers had died and two others were wounded. In Paris, France Info radio reported about 20 soldiers dead.

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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