[Photo Courtsey:Anadolu Agency]
The M23 rebels in eastern side of Democratic Republic of Congo engaged in heavy clashes with rival militias
A Tutsi-led group conquered swaths of territory in North Kivu province in recent months and advanced towards to its capital Goma.
Fighting between the M23 and opposing armed groups broke out in the Tongo area of North Kivu’s Rutshuru territory on Thursday, according to locals and militia members.
Safari Haguma, a local civil society figure, told AFP via telephone that heavy gunfire had been heard since that morning.
Dominique Ndaruhutse, the self-proclaimed general of the CMC/FDP militia, also confirmed the clashes and said 13 members of the M23 had been killed.
AFP was unable to independently confirm the death toll.
“We took up arms to defend the territorial integrity of our country and we will never accept being slaves,” said Jules Mulumba, a spokesman for a coalition of armed groups that includes the CMC/FDP.