Congo army troops return to Goma as rebels nearby

Associated Press
M23 rebel fighters are seen walking up a hill overlooking Goma, six kilometers from the center of the eastern Congo city, Monday Dec. 3, 2012. Rebels, who finally withdrew from this regional capital over the weekend, said they are waiting for a 48-hour deadline to expire on Monday afternoon, before deciding if they will take back the city. After a nearly two-week occupation, the M23 rebel group agreed to leave Goma on the condition that Congo's government enters into negotiations with them by 2 p.m. Monday. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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GOMA, Congo (AP) — Several hundred Congo army soldiers returned to the key eastern city of Goma, as rebels remained poised nearby and a possible fight loomed for the city of 1 million.

About 700 government army troops reentered Goma Monday in trucks which arrived at Katindo barracks. Crowds gathered to cheer and sing and some women rushed forward to kiss the troops.

The soldiers were deployed to positions across the city. Their return is a concrete sign that the state may be able to regain control of Goma and other territory it lost in a few days of fighting earlier this month.

Even as the army soldiers returned, the M23 rebels remained perilously close to Goma, with their fighters on Monday taking positions just 3 kilometers (1.6 miles) away from this provincial capital.

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