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WORLD BRIEFING / CONGO

Rebels advance on key city; thousands flee

October 29, 2008|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Tens of thousands of Congolese fled as rebels advanced toward Goma, and chaos gripped a separate front as government soldiers fired on civilians and aid workers trying to escape, the top United Nations envoy said.

Alan Doss said peacekeepers were forced to "respond," apparently meaning they shot at troops who are supposed to be their allies, at Rutshuru, about 45 miles north of Goma.

U.N. helicopter gunships were being used near Rutshuru and Kilimanyoka, seven miles north of Goma. They were hampered by rebels' use of civilians as shields, a U.N. spokeswoman said.

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