Gunmen shot dead 10 people on Monday, including four Chadians, in the southern Brazzaville district of Massengo, the police said yesterday. The Associated Press cited a witness as identifying the attackers as Ninja militia, loyal to ousted Prime Minister Bernard Kolelas. The gunmen apparently selected their victims, shooting first the Chadian cattle traders, and then people identified as northerners. On Tuesday, the army announced it had lifted its blockade on the southern districts of the city. The government appealed to an estimated 80,000 displaced people to return to their homes after a “cleaning exercise” and the removal of 415 dead bodies from the streets, PANA reported. Meanwhile, the Cocoye militia of ex-president Pascal Lissouba still control the Moukoukoulou hydro-electric dam they seized on 6 January. Power remains cut to Pointe-Noire and other towns in the south.
Meanwhile, parliament approved budget expenditure of US $996 for 1999, raising spending levels above an austerity budget announced by the government in November, Reuters reported yesterday.
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