October 28, 2008 / 5:56 PM / 11 years ago

Congo rebels say capture eastern town of Rutshuru

GOMA, Congo (Reuters) - Congolese Tutsi rebels overran the eastern town of Rutshuru Tuesday in an offensive against government troops in North Kivu province, a rebel spokesman said.

“We have taken the town of Rutshuru and the (adjoining) town of Kiwanja,” rebel spokesman Bertrand Bisimwa told Reuters by phone. Earlier the head of the government army’s operations in the area said he would have to abandon the town in the face of a rebel advance.

Bisimwa said rebel fighters loyal to Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda had also encircled North Kivu’s provincial capital Goma, 100 km (60 miles) to the south, but that could not be independently verified.

Reporting by Joe Bavier; writing by Alistair Thomson

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