REBELS ADVANCE

KINSHASA - Rebels in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo were yesterday on the outskirts of Kanyabayonga, the scene of looting by government forces earlier this week, rebel and other sources said.

KINSHASA - Rebels in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo were yesterday on the outskirts of Kanyabayonga, the scene of looting by government forces earlier this week, rebel and other sources said.

"We are at the entrance of Kanyabayonga," Bertrand Bisimwa, spokesman for the National Congress for the Defence of the People, led by renegade Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda, said.

Two independent sources said the rebels had advanced to about 10km south of Kanyabayonga, which is around 175km north of the Nord-Kivu capital Goma.

The rebels seized Kiwanja on November 5 and began a mopping-up operation to kill remaining pro-government Mai-Mai militia who they said had melted into the local population.

The human rights group Human Rights Watch has said that at least 50 civilians were killed. The organisation cited local sources who said the rebels had sought out "enemy collaborators". - Sapa-AFP

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