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Congo army troops return to Goma as rebels nearby

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published December 3, 2012 at 7:01 a.m. Updated December 3, 2012 at 10:20 a.m.

— 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 on Monday in trucks that 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 Monday taking positions just 1.6 miles away from this provincial capital.

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