Fierce clashes in Congo despite rebel promises to UN

KANYABAYONGA, Congo (AP) -- A day after Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda promised a U.N. envoy he would support a cease-fire, the fighting continues.

Villages in the mountains of eastern Congo that once housed tens of thousands of people appeared nearly deserted today after some of the worst clashes between Congo's army and the rebels in a week. In one village, the few people who are left have been packing supplies and setting out on foot, as the army's troops also fled the rebel advance.

Battles raged just 10 miles from the village last night, though U.N. peacekeepers had no word on casualties. A spokesman says "Everybody is trying to push the other side back" and they're not respecting the cease-fire.

The battles have displaced 250,000 people since August.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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