LUBUMBASHI, DR Congo: Violent clashes broke out in the Democratic Republic of Congo between the army and separatist rebels, a local official said Tuesday, as one witness reported seeing several soldiers injured.
There was "heavy combat between the armed forces of the DR Congo (FARDC) and Mai Mai Bakata-Katanga rebels tonight," Kahozi Bin Malisawa told AFP.
The clashes began late Monday and continued until dawn on Tuesday in the village of Kiziba, some 30 kilometres (19 miles) south-east of the second city Lubumbashi, according to the official.
A military spokesman confirmed the clashes but declined to offer any more details about the conflict.
The Bakata-Katanga rebels are seeking independence for the unstable and mineral-rich province Katanga region.
One witness, who declined to be named, told AFP he saw "two FARDC jeeps carrying wounded soldiers to the military hospital" in Lubumbashi.
Bakata-Katanga secessionists regularly attack military targets.
In March, they clashed with government troops after marching in central Lubumbashi in broad daylight. Twenty-three people died in the incident.
Lubumbashi, along with the capital Kinshasa, was one of the cradles of violence in December that claimed more than 100 lives.