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6 dead in DRC munitions depot attack

30 October 2013, 08:30

Lubumbashi - Six people were killed on Tuesday in clashes between military police and a group of separatist attackers at a munitions depot in the south-western DRC city of Lubumbashi, officials said.

"There were six deaths, three attackers and three soldiers," said the mayor of DRC's second largest city, Jean-Oscar Sanguza.

The attack was led by "separatists from the Bakata-Katanga", a group fighting for the independence of Katanga province, according to an intelligence source.

Five members of the rebel group had been arrested by late afternoon on Tuesday, Sanguza said, with parts of the city shut off in an attempt to catch fugitives.

A military source said the group also attacked the residence of a military police commander.

A resident of the area told AFP he had heard shots being fired near the compound, and an AFP journalist and other witnesses in the city were also woken up by the shooting.

Katanga is the DRC's richest region, but its wealth in minerals such as copper and cobalt is concentrated mainly in the south of the sprawling province.

Bakata-Katanga secessionists from the north of the province regularly attack ammunition dumps.

In March they clashed with government troops after marching in central Lubumbashi in broad daylight. Twenty-three people died in the fighting.



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