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DRC troops, attackers clash in Lubumbashi

29 October 2013, 07:36

Lubumbashi - Armed men attacked Democratic Republic of Congo military police at an ammunition compound in the country's second city Lubumbashi for several hours on Tuesday, security officials and witnesses said.

Gunfights broke out at 02:00 and stopped around 05:00, witnesses said in the south-eastern mining capital's central districts.

"According to the information we have, armed men attacked the military police," the interior minister of Katanga province, Juvenal Kitungwa, told AFP.

Military police responded using heavy weapons, he added.

A source at DRC national intelligence agency said the assailants were led by Bakata-Katanga pro-independence fighters and had targeted "an ammunition dump in [the city's] industrial district".

A resident of the area told AFP he had heard shots being fired near the dump.

An AFP journalist and other witnesses in the city were also woken up by the shooting.

It was not immediately clear whether the attackers were able to flee the scene, or if there were any casualties.

Katanga is DRC's richest region but its relatively prosperous south with its copper mines contrasts with its poor north.

Bakata-Katanga secessionists who live in the north 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 incident.



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