New Lusaka - The PanAfrican Union army today overran several rebel bases in the city of Rhamal-kesh, freeing hundreds of hostages taken by the rebels in the past few weeks.
A dozen hostages were killed in the firefight between the PAU army and the rebel forces.
"It is an unfortunate circumstance that innocents might be killed when caught in the cross-fire," stated General Amad Bufahl. "We try to minimize the casualties among the innocent, but sometimes it happens. That only a dozen were killed and several hundred are now free is quite acceptable."
The rebels, led by their leader Sum Dhrugs, appeared in Rhamal-kesh several weeks ago and began abducting citizens from the city, secluding them in one of several fortifications the rebels hastily constructed. The City Council was unable to summon the PAU army before they were captured and executed. Word first reached the outside that something was wrong nearly a week into the occupation of the city. The PAU army, currently embroiled in other skirmishes with rebel forces elsewhere on Bujubura, was sent in to deal with the situation.
"We are stretched pretty thin," reported General Ahm-Zebron, "But the rebels are a very disorganized bunch. We'll clean them up and have them off the planet before the end of the year."
It is presumed that the rebels are being financed and supplied by the IFN, but no hard evidence of this exists. Government officials continue to investigate this situation and hope to find some clues left behind in the rebel bases.
Rebel leader Sum Dhrugs managed to elude capture during the raids and escaped with some of his top advisors when the PAU launched its major offensive. Sources say that this setback is only temporary for the rebel forces, and Dhrugs expects to return to the region in the coming months.
Nearly 1,000 rebels were killed or wounded in the pitched battle.