Fighting rages in Kigali

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The Independent Online
KIGALI (Reuter) - Fierce fighting between soldiers and rebels raged yesterday in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and the interim government retreated into the Hutu tribal heartland, United Nations officers said.

'The RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) is heavily bombarding the centre of the city and four bombs landed metres away from the Red Cross hospital,' the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda (Unamir) military spokesman, Major Jean-Guy Plante, said.

Fighting began before dawn, with volleys from rocket-launchers, mortars, machine-guns and small arms going on almost constantly for three hours. The gunfire died down a few hours later but rebel mortaring of government districts went on.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is toiling to help wounded coming in at the rate of 100 daily, had requested both sides to avoid bringing the war to the hospital. Government guns have been positioned in the streets around it.