U.N. Peacekeepers Retreat as Rebels Advance in Congo

KILIMANYOKA, Congo  —  Congo rebels closed in relentlessly on the provincial capital of Goma on Tuesday, despite being attacked by U.N. peacekeepers in helicopters. Government troops scrambled south in a full-scale retreat, fleeing in tanks, trucks and on foot.

Adding to the melee, tens of thousands of civilians jammed the roads, fearing the rebel army that has a reputation for brutality. Many were carrying huge bundles of clothes, pots and bedding on their heads and swaddled infants on their chests. Even young children balanced sacks of food on their heads, walking along rutted roads in bare feet.

From the Associated Press

Thousands spent the night sleeping on the muddy ground, with no protection from tropical showers.

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