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Published: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 9:06:18 PM
Updated: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 9:07:09 PM

Heavy gunfire rings out in Congo Republic capital

BRAZZAVILLE (Reuters) - Gunfire rang out in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, on Monday as the army raided the residence of the country's former deputy intelligence chief, according to a security source and French radio RFI.

The man targeted was colonel Marcel Ntsourou, one of the most senior officers blamed for a 2012 explosion at a heavy weapons depot in the city that killed hundreds.

"The army is attacking my home. They've been concentrating troops around my home since last night ... We are resisting," Ntsourou told RFI in an interview.

Gunshots were audible in the background and Ntsourou said there were wounded and dead on his side. There was no immediate comment from the government or the army.

The Brazzaville-based security source confirmed Ntsourou had come under attack and a helicopter was flying over the city but he said the situation was under control by early afternoon.

The explosion at the Mpila arms depot in March 2012 killed over 280 people, injured 2,500 and left 16,000 displaced, piling pressure on President Denis Sassou Nguesso's administration.

(Reporting by Pete Jones in Kinshasa and Joe Bavier in Abidjan; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Emma Farge and)

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