Congo says drives M23 rebels from last strongholds

KINSHASA Tue Nov 5, 2013 3:05am EST

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KINSHASA (Reuters) - The Congolese government said its forces had driven M23 rebels from two strongholds in eastern Congo early on Tuesday, referring to bases army commanders had previously described as the group's last redoubts.

"Tshanzu and Runyoni were taken by the army around 3 a.m. (0000GMT). Many M23 fighters are surrendering," government spokesman Lambert Mende told Reuters. "Militarily this is finished."

Speaking hours after African leaders told the M23 rebels to renounce rebellion, Mende said the Kinshasa government expected peace talks mediated by neighbouring Uganda to resume soon.

(Reporting by Pete Jones; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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