Sporadic gunfire has been heard in Republic of Congo's capital as police fight with what an official says are militia fighters. The heavy gunfire tapered off at times, contained in the southern Bacongo and Makelekele neighborhoods of Brazzaville.

A government official said early Monday authorities are monitoring the situation. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press, said militiamen known as the Ninjas were fighting police.

The government battled the rebels in the early 2000s, when they demanded a larger role in government and military. The Ninjas were one of the main anti-government forces in the 1998-99 civil war. A peace deal was signed in 2003.

The fighting comes weeks after President Denis Sassou N'Guesso's re-election.