M23 captures DR Congo’s Kirumba, eyes major cities

– The M23 rebel group has seized control of Kirumba, a major commercial center in the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), further expanding their hold in the region.

The capture of Kirumba, the largest town in Lubero territory, comes just one day after the M23 took the strategic town of Kanyabayonga. 

Local sources report the rebels are well-equipped and numerous, with intentions to push further north towards Butembo and Beni, ultimately aiming for the capital, Kinshasa.

This escalation of violence raises concerns for the safety of civilians caught in the crossfire. 

Five people, including civilians and soldiers, were reportedly killed in the town of Kayna during its capture by M23 on Saturday.

The Congolese government accuses neighboring Rwanda of backing the M23, a claim Rwanda denies. 

President Felix Tshisekedi held an emergency meeting with the defense council on Saturday and vowed to protect the country’s territorial integrity. 

However, details on the government’s response remain unclear.

The capture of Kirumba marks a significant advancement for the M23 rebels and deepens the ongoing conflict in DR Congo’s mineral-rich east, a region plagued by violence for decades.

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