Authorities in eastern Congo say at least seven people are dead after a gunfight between Congolese soldiers and a former colonel who was recently suspended from his government job.

Army spokesman Dieudonne Kasereka in Congo's South Kivu province said two civilians struck by stray bullets were among those killed in Sunday's violence at the home of Abbas Kiyonga.

Kiyonga is on leave from his post with a commission fighting mining fraud. The governor suspended him Thursday for unspecified "serious breaches."

Kiyonga, an ex-colonel in the Congolese military, once took part in an insurgency years earlier. On Sunday, soldiers went to his home to identify various armed individuals outside when gunfire rang out.

He was in custody Sunday at the MONUSCO base in Bukavu.