DRC arrests 'leader' of Goma airport attack

2015-06-03 22:35
Congolese soldiers visit territory retaken last week from M23 rebels, near the Rwandan border north of Goma, Congo. (Joseph Kay, AP)

Congolese soldiers visit territory retaken last week from M23 rebels, near the Rwandan border north of Goma, Congo. (Joseph Kay, AP)

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Kinshasa - Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have captured the man suspected of being behind a deadly attack this week on the largest airport in the east of the country, the government's spokesperson said on Wednesday.

At least four soldiers and three suspected assailants were killed in the gun attack at Goma airport on Tuesday that military and diplomatic sources said was the work of ethnic Mai-Mai fighters.

The region has seen years of conflict involving dozens of armed militia such as the Mai-Mai that control large parts of the mineral-rich eastern borderlands, but attacks of this kind are rare.

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende described the man captured as a "criminal" from the town of Butembo, some 270km north of Goma.

"He recruited the band of criminal authors of this aggression before supervising their trip to Goma and the perpetration of the attack on the airport," Mende said in a statement.

The man was arrested in Goma thanks to information provided by three captured assailants and intelligence help from neighbouring Rwanda, whose phone networks the attackers used, Mende later told Reuters.

Read more on:    mai-mai  |  drc  |  central africa

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