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Conflicting numbers of dead in Congo fighting

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August 27, 2013 02:48 PM EST | AP

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DAKAR, Senegal — Following days of fighting in eastern Congo, conflicting versions of the death toll emerged, with rebel and government spokesmen giving drastically different accounts of which side suffered the heaviest losses.

Congolese military spokesman Col. Olivier Hamuli told The Associated Press on Tuesday that over 100 rebels had been killed and only 10 army soldiers. "There are at least 100 dead on the rebel side. At least. I can't be sure, because this is just the bodies we saw. There are forests all around where we're finding more," said Hamuli.

In contrast, Bertrand Bisimwa, the president of the M23 rebels, said only a dozen of the dead were from the M23 rebel movement. Reporters could not immediately approach the front line, making it impossible to verify their competing claims.