World Bulletin / News Desk
Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have seized another town after clashing with government troops backed by UN peacekeepers' helicopters, reported Al Jazeera.
A United Nations peacekeeping spokesman said the M23 rebels had taken over the town of Kibumb in North Kivu province on Saturday.
Kibumb is just 25km north of Goma, the provincial capital, increasing fears that the rebels are advancing towards the oil-rich region's main city with the aim of capturing it.
M23 rebels said on Sunday that they have reached the "door" of Goma.
"We're at the door... we are not in the city of Goma. It's not our ambition to take Goma. Nevertheless if (President Joseph) Kabila's army attacks us, we will pursue the enemy until it is repelled very far from Goma," Vianney Kazarama, a rebel spokesman, told the AFP news agency.
Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reporting from Nairobi, Kenya, also said that the rebels were "extremely close" to Goma.
"The rebels are actually 4km outside Goma. The airport is on that road...and if the rebels manage to take the airport, then Goma will fall to the rebels," she said.
The rebels' advancement came as the UN Security Council demanded an end to foreign support for the fighters.
Kinshasa, meanwhile, made fresh accusations against its eastern neighbour Rwanda, saying it was backing the rebel forces.
UN leader Ban Ki-moon has appealed to Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to "use his influence on M23" to end the rebellion, Herve Ladsous, the UN peacekeeping chief in the country, said.
Rwanda has denied a report by UN experts that it has backed the rebels.
Ladsous said the United Nations could not confirm whether Rwanda is helping the new rebel offensive but told reporters that M23 "attacking forces are well-equipped and very well supplied."Last Mod: 18 Kasım 2012, 14:09