KIGALI, Feb 9 (AFP) - France sent more troops to Rwanda on Tuesday after Rwandan guerrillas battled government troops throughout the night around Ruhengeri in the northwest, informed sources said.
In Paris, French foreign ministry spokesman Daniel Bernard said 150 French troops arrived in Kigali Tuesday morning "to ensure the safety of French nationals in Rwanda." About 400 French nationals live in Rwanda, he said.
France already has one military company in Rwanda, sent during an earlier outbreak of tribal fighting in October 1990.
The Rwandan government, bowing to rebel pressure, temporarily suspended several local officials whom the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) had implicated in the tribal violence last month that left 300 dead in the north of the country.
The fighting is between the Tutsi minority, who support the rebel RPF, and the Hutu, who dominate the government of President Juvenal Habyarimana.
The cabinet also extended the curfew in the latest trouble spots.
The rebels resumed attacks on government forces in the north of the country after the breakdown of a ceasefire agreed on last July.
There was no immediate casualty toll for the latest fighting.
According to the sources, the RPF attacked several points in the northeast on Monday, including the villages of Tumba, Ngarama, Muvumba, Nyabishambi and Karambi, in Byumba county.
In Tumba, rebels attacked a camp of refugees already displaced by fighting, the sources said.
The 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew was extended by two hours in trouble spots areas where Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) guerrillas have resumed action. It will now start at 6:00 p.m.
In Paris, foreign ministry spokesman Bernard said the RPF offensive in the north appeared to be widespread, but latest reports indicated that government troops had gained the upper hand.
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