Congolese army says they've killed 80 rebels in E. Congo from neighboring Uganda, Rwanda

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A Congolese general says the army has killed 80 rebels from neighboring Rwanda and Uganda who crossed into volatile eastern Congo.

Gen. Amuli Bahigwa said Tuesday the army killed the rebels in an operation that started June 1. He said four soldiers were killed and that Ugandan rebels killed eight civilians.

Eastern Congo has been wracked by violence since Rwanda's 1994 genocide spilled war across the border. Ugandan rebels have spread their 20-year fight to Congo, Sudan and Central African Republic.

Wednesday is Congo's 50th anniversary of independence from Belgium. The vast Central African nation has struggled to develop despite great mineral wealth. Congo is the size of Western Europe but has few paved roads and is covered by near-impenetrable forest where fighters take refuge.