Congo rebels begin pullout of eastern capital, after defying previous orders to do so

A U.N. official says rebels are starting to pull out of Congo's eastern provincial capital after an attempt to garner ammunition at the airport failed and their original pullout was postponed.

Sy Koumbo, a spokesman for the U.N. in Congo, says that an agreement was reached late Friday with M23 rebels after they attempted to force their way into Goma's international airport to seize arms. Koumbo says U.N. peacekeepers blocked the fighters.

Trucks full of M23 rebels drove Saturday along the road that leads out of Goma towards Kibumba, where the rebels are supposed to settle following an agreement reached in Kampala last week. M23 soldiers were cheering as they did a final tour in the city center.

The rebels defied two earlier ultimatums to leave set by a bloc representing the nations bordering Congo.