Republic of Congo attacks by ex-militia leave 17 dead

The Republic of Congo says Monday's fighting in the capital between former militiamen and police has killed at least 17 people.

Government spokesman Thierry Moungalla said Tuesday that three police officers, two civilians and 12 ex-militia members were killed. He said attacks by ex-Ninja Nsiloulou members in the capital, Brazzaville, also left six policemen injured.

Moungella said assailants ran off with arms after attacking six police stations, two customs checkpoints, a government office and homes in southern parts of Brazzaville. The government said Frederic Bitsangou, who was a leader for the Ninjas militia and is now high commissioner for peace, may have instigated the attacks.

Bitsangou led the militia that disbanded after a peace deal was signed in 2003.

Monday's attacks come weeks after longtime President Denis Sassou N'Guesso's re-election.