GOMA, Congo (AP) — A spokesman for a rebel group in Congo believed to be backed by neighboring Rwanda confirmed that his fighters have entered Goma and have taken the city's international airport. The assault was punctuated by heavy gunfire.
Col. Vianney Kazarama, spokesman for the M23 rebel movement, told The Associated Press by telephone that the rebels are now fighting for control of the rest of Goma. "We already took the airport," Kazarama said Tuesday. "We are now inside the city of Goma."
Goma was last threatened by rebels in 2008 when fighters stopped just short of the provincial capital. The United Nations has said that if Goma were to fall a humanitarian catastrophe would result. The rebels are opposed by Congolese government forces backed by U.N. peacekeeping troops and their attack helicopters.