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16 Rebels Killed in Fighting with Army in Congo's East

A Congo military spokesman says the army has killed at least 16 former members of a rebel group who re-entered the country's east.

Maj. Ndjike Kaiko said Thursday that in fighting near Rutshuru the army captured 68 former M23 rebels and 39 others surrendered. He said the rebels tried to infiltrate Virunga National Park.

M23 operated in eastern Congo from 2012 until it was defeated in 2013 by U.N. forces and Congo's army. The group was disbanded and many fled to Uganda and Rwanda.

Congo's government warned in January that the former rebels in Uganda were re-grouping and crossing back into Congo.

Local residents say they are terrified of the group's return. Eastern Congo has been plagued by many armed rebel groups since the Rwandan genocide in 1994.