Clashes erupted early on Thursday in Beni, a city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, with residents reporting the sound of gunshots and heavy weapons fire.
Exchanges of fire could be heard in the eastern part of the city, with an army spokesman confirming a gun battle had broken out between troops and a new rebel group.
Beni, which is located in the restive North-Kivu province near the border with Uganda, has suffered a wave of violence since 2014 with nearly 700 civilians killed, many of them hacked to death.
The killings have been blamed on a shadowy rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is dominated by hardline Ugandan Muslims.
At the weekend, clashes erupted between troops and rebels in an area just south of Beni, leaving a soldier and 12 militants dead.For more than 20 years, eastern DR Congo has been rocked by conflict waged by both domestic and foreign armed groups which has been fuelled by the struggle for control of lucrative mineral resources but also by ethnic and property disputes.
– By AFP