Congo rebels, army clash on Goma’s edge


Published Nov 20, 2012 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

GOMA, Congo — Rebels believed to be backed by Rwanda fired mortars and machine guns Monday on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Goma, threatening to capture one of the largest cities in eastern Congo in a development that could drag this giant Central African nation back into war.

The gunfire and explosions erupted in the early afternoon, with shells landing as far away as the international airport and near a United Nations position, causing flights to be rerouted and prompting the United Nations to evacuate most of its employees, according to U.N. officials.

The violence erupted just hours after the M23 rebels said they were halting fighting to negotiate with the government of Congo.