Trouble brewing in DRC

May 1, 2012 at 10:19 AM

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 1 (UPI) -- Refugees reported heavy gunfire in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as government forces clashed with fighters loyal to war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda.

"There has been a lot of shooting, this is why we have fled," a refugee told the BBC.

Fighters loyal to Ntaganda reportedly clashed with DRC forces in the east of the country.

BBC correspondents said they witnessed a steady stream of families fleeing the fighting.

The International Criminal Court in 2010, in an unsealed indictment, accused Ntaganda, a former military commander, of crimes committed in the DRC. The ICC said there was "reasonable grounds to believe" he played a direct role in conscripting child soldiers.

DRC was marred by violence following presidential elections in November. Media reports last month suggested Ntaganda was planning to launch a full-scale rebellion against DRC forces.

The Congolese military, the BBC reports, said its forces were overwhelmed by Ntaganda loyalist in the east of the country.

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