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World News | Rwanda says Congolese soldiers attacked its border posts

World News | Rwanda says Congolese soldiers attacked its border posts

The LATAM Airlines plane hit the vehicle on the runway (Image: Twitter / @AirCrash_)

KIGALI, Feb. 15 (AP) — The Rwandan army said its troops had a brief exchange of fire with soldiers from Congo early Wednesday, escalating tensions between the neighbors, which they accused of backing the border. Armed rebel groups on the other side.

A statement said 12 to 14 Congolese soldiers entered an uninhabited area near the western region of Rusizi and opened fire on a Rwandan border post in an “act of provocation”.

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“Our security forces responded and (Congolese) soldiers withdrew,” the Rwandan statement said.

“There were no casualties on the Rwandan side and the situation is calm.”

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The Congolese army was not immediately available for comment.

For months, Congo has accused Rwanda of backing an armed rebel group called M23, which is fighting in eastern Congo.

The decades-long conflict in eastern Congo has seen more than 100 armed groups fight for control of valuable mineral resources while others protect their communities and spark an exodus of refugees.

Rwanda in turn accused Congo of supporting FDLR, an armed Rwandan rebel group based in Congo that has carried out attacks against Rwanda in the past.

FDLR has been accused of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which Hutus killed more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus who were trying to protect them.

UN experts said in December they had “substantial evidence” that Rwandan government forces had entered Congo to either reinforce M23 rebels or carry out operations against FDLR. The US, France and Germany are urging Rwanda to stop supporting the rebels.

The Rwandan government has denied supporting M23 and said the allegations were part of a “well-worn blame game” that undermined peace efforts to which “Rwanda is fully committed”.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said Congolese authorities should solve their own problems.

He said in January that the crisis in Congo “is not a Rwandan problem, and we’re going to make sure everyone realizes it’s not a Rwandan problem.”

Last month, Rwanda said it opened fire on a Congolese military aircraft it accused of violating its airspace and urged Congo to stop its “aggression”.

But the Congolese government said the incident took place in Congolese airspace near the international airport in the city of Goma.

It said the plane did not suffer major damage when it landed.

Congo described the attack on its aircraft as a “deliberate act of aggression amounting to an act of war” aimed at undermining regional peace efforts.

Regional leaders have called for a ceasefire in eastern Congo and ordered rebels to withdraw from major towns under M23 control – but that has not happened. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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