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Congo leaders, rebels hold talks

CONGO

LEADERS, REBELS HOLD TALKS

Congolese officials are in talks with representatives of M23, the rebel group that last week took control of the eastern Congo city of Goma, Ugandan officials said Sunday. Ugandan Defense Minister Crispus Kiyonga said he was mediating discussions to help both sides reach a settlement that would end a violent rebellion that has sucked in Uganda and Rwanda, which both face charges of backing the rebels. M23 leader Jean-Marie Runiga is leading the rebels in the talks, according to Rene Abandi, M23's head of external relations. Abandi, who is now based in the Ugandan capital Kampala, said M23 representatives met with Congolese President Joseph Kabila in a tense, two-hour meeting on Saturday that was also attended by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. A regional summit of African leaders in Kampala on Saturday called on the rebels to leave Goma and urged Kabila to listen to the "legitimate grievances" of M23.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.

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A natural gas explosion that injured 18 people and damaged 42 buildings in Springfield's entertainment district was blamed Sunday on a utility worker who accidentally punctured a high-pressure pipeline while looking for a leak. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the Friday night blast in one of New England's largest cities was caused by "human error."

Elsewhere

Nigeria: Twin suicide car bombs exploded Sunday at a church inside a military base north of Kaduna, killing 11 people and wounding 30. Suspicion fell on the radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram.

China: The military landed a fighter jet on China's first seaworthy aircraft carrier, according to a report Sunday by Xinhua, the state news agency.

Switzerland: Grammy-winning jazz bassist Marcus Miller and several members of his band were injured when their bus overturned Sunday on a busy highway, killing the driver, police said.

Times wires

Congo leaders, rebels hold talks 11/25/12 [Last modified: Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:46pm]

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