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Troops in east Congo forcibly disarm dozens

Updated at: 08/03/2013 2:05 PM
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(AP) GOMA, Congo - A Congolese government official says a disarmament operation is under way in the country’s east as part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission’s imposition of a "security zone" in and around Goma.

The operation is aimed at ensuring only Congolese security forces are armed in the region, which has been threatened by rebels of the M23 movement.

Bahati Luhunga, an official in the town of Sake, some 27 km (17 miles) from Goma, said Saturday that government troops conducted a house-to-house search there.

They found 32 people with weapons and ammunition. He says other armed residents escaped because they had been tipped off by friends in the Congolese army.

The U.N.’s so-called security zone went into effect on Thursday, but it has not released total figures on people disarmed.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)