An international rights group says airstrikes in Republic of Congo's southeastern Pool region nearly two weeks ago killed at least 30 people.

Amnesty International said Monday that witnesses say helicopters dropped 30 bombs on residential areas, destroying churches, schools and medical facilities. It said this was an unlawful use of lethal force.

The government says former militiamen, known as the Ninjas, launched attacks in areas of Brazzaville on April 4 and the fighting with police killed at least 17 people.

Amnesty said the April 5 bombings targeted areas where the ex-militiamen are present. The bombings hit the former residence of Frederic Bitsangou, who led the militia that disbanded after a peace deal was signed in 2003.

The violence came weeks after the re-election of longtime President Denis Sassou N'Guesso.