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UN helicopters fire on DR Congo rebels advancing on Goma

Published on Nov 19, 2012 7:20 AM

GOMA, DR Congo (AFP) - United Nations (UN) officials expressed fears for Goma in the east of DR Congo, after UN combat helicopters and government troops failed to stop a rebel advance on the city on Sunday, amid growing international alarm.

Government troops and local officials were already fleeing the city, said several sources.

The M23 rebels, army mutineers whose uprising in April has unleashed fresh unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo's chronically unstable east, are now near the airport of Goma, the main city in the mineral-rich region.

The UN warned there was a "real threat" that Goma would fall. Rebels had already warned that they would seize the city if they came under attack from the army.

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