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Fresh Fighting Erupts Between Mozambique Forces, Renamo

Mozambique's President Armando Emilio Guebuza speaks during his address to the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Sept. 24, 2013.
Fresh fighting has erupted in Mozambique between government troops and members of Renamo, a former rebel group that recently withdrew from a peace deal.

The fighting broke out Tuesday in Karamaja Napome, a town about 30 kilometers from the northern city of Nampula.

One resident told VOA he heard the sounds of mortar and bazooka fire. Many of the town's residents have fled to Nampula.

Nampula police spokesman Michael Bartholomeu would not confirm the fighting, but told VOA that security forces had been pursuing Renamo members in the area.

Renamo is Mozambique's main opposition party. Earlier this month, the group announced it was ending a 1992 peace deal with the ruling Frelimo party.

Renamo said it was pulling out of the deal because government forces had captured a base where its leader was staying. The leader, Afonso Dhlakama, managed to escape.

Since the pullout, Renamo attacked a police station in the central town of Maringue.

On Monday, government officials said security forces had seized Renamo's headquarters in the town.

Tensions between the two sides had escalated over the past year. Renamo claims Frelimo has rigged elections and has marginalized the opposition.