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18 killed in raid in Republic of Congo

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-12-17 16:45

BRAZZAVILLE -- At least 18 people were killed in a raid on bandits in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, according to police of the Central African country.

Police launched the attack on Monday morning on a group of bandits taking refuge in the residence of ex-deputy secretary general of the National Security Council, Marcel Ntsourou.

Ntsourou was safe with his family taken to a base of the UN forces, according to the police, while other sources said he was held by the Congolese military authorities.

In a press statement, police said the incident occurred one day after officers on patrol were targeted by the bandits.

"On December 15, a police patrol team was attacked in Brazzaville's Plateaux district. After the launch of investigations, it was discovered that some of the vehicles involved in the attack were in Ntsourou's compound and the public prosecutor gave authorization for the search of Ntsourou's home," the statement said.

"When the officers investigating the matter attempted to enter his home, they were met with heavy gunshots from armed individuals within Ntsourou's house, and they were forced to retaliate," the statement added.

Col. Ntsourou, an officer of the Congolese Armed Forces (FAC), served as deputy secretary general for the National Security Council between 2005 and 2012.

In August, he was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in the explosion at an arms warehouse in Brazzaville on March 4, 2012. The explosion left close to 300 people dead and a lot of property destroyed.

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