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Congo: Tension mounts as ninjas spark fresh violence in Pool region

Congo: Tension mounts as ninjas spark fresh violence in Pool region

Democratic Republic Of Congo

At least four Congolese soldiers have lost their lives following attacks by former ninja fighters at Pool, a locality South of Brazzaville.

An attack at a military base at Kimbedi left two soldiers dead.

Two others were killed Wednesday night when an ambulance transporting patients to Brazzaville was attacked by gunmen.

Armed forces have been looking for former rebel leader and pastor Ntumi, as well as his two lieutenants all accused of being behind the continuous insecurity at Pool.

“They took control of the upper areas. You know controlling the upper areas means you are also controlling the bottom.We tried to push them back. Police also arrived with tear gas to disperse them. Deaths were recorded and a woman was taken away by the armed men,” a Pool military official, Captain Patrick Okomo told Africanews.

“Everyday we receive threats from ninjas. We heard that they have surrounded us. We have taken our positions and are waiting,” another soldier added.

Although Congo’s conflict ended in 1999, and several clashes were later recorded between ninja fighters and government forces, the Pool zone suffers violence as armed gun men are not willing to completely surrender.

“We have a problem known by the whole world. In reality, the Pool doesn’t really have a problem. The main issue here is that we host people who are hunted by the judiciary. You know them very well and I don’t need to mention their names.They have found refuge at Pool,” Senior Divisional Officer of Pool, Jean-Michel Sangha said.

Inhabitants of the Pool zone are running for their dear lives few days to the official beginning of classes for the first term.

While some seek refuge in nearby villages, others sleep in the open air. Just a look on their faces tells the whole story.

Africanews Correspondent in the zone says there is sadness within army ranks as they mourn the killing of the soldiers by the rebels.