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Displaced villagers march with their belongings to escape Congo fighting

Marc Hofer / AP

A displaced Congolese family carry their belongings on the road between Rutshuru and Goma, after the village of Kibumba was occupied by an armed militia consisting of current or former members of the "National Congress for the Defence of the People", according to those fleeing, in Congo on Tuesday. Mutinous soldiers formerly from the armed militia "National Congress for the Defence of the People" and linked to Congolese ex-general Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted for alleged war crimes by the International Criminal Court, say they have formed a new rebel group called the "March 23 Movement", led by a colonel who was formerly the No. 2 in the army under Ntaganda.

Marc Hofer / AP

A displaced Congolese family carry their belongings on the road between Rutshuru and Goma in Congo.

Reuters reports that thousands of residents have fled their homes in Congo:

Thousands of civilians in the region were fleeing toward the town of Goma, said Alexandre Essome, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo known as MONUSCO.

"There's still fighting ongoing. MONUSCO are deployed in all the villages around Masisi to ensure the protection of the population," Essome said by telephone from Goma.

By early Monday evening more than 1,500 refugees had crossed into Rwanda, according to the United Nations, and more were waiting at the border according to Jean Claude Rwahama, the Rwandan director of refugee affairs.

The ICC has been seeking Ntaganda's arrest for six years on charges he recruited children to fight in a bloody ethnic conflict in northeastern Congo that grew out of the broader civil war. Ntaganda denies involvement in war crimes.

See more images from Congo in PhotoBlog.

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