Rebels in Congo fought pro-government militiamen in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday in a gunbattle that left six people dead.

The fighting broke out at about 90km north of Goma, the capital of Nord Kivu province and broke out as the U.N. special envoy for Congo, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, held talks with insurgent chief Laurent Nkunda elsewhere in the east.

The bodies of six so-called Mai Mai militiamen were found by UN troops after an hour of fighting Friday morning in the village of Mabenga,

One Mai Mai fighter was seriously wounded and evacuated by a medical vehicle from the charity Doctors Without Borders, Dietrich said.

About 40 Mai Mai fighters who participated in the attack retreated from the battlefield and were spotted by U.N. troops near the town of Rwindi, Dietrich added.

The fighting came despite calls for a truce at peace talks held this week in Nairobi. The talks have been complicated by a reported split within Nkunda's rebel movement.

The head of the rebels, Bosco Ntaganda, claims they have dismissed Nkunda as rebel chief.

Nkunda denies the claim.

Nkunda, an ethnic Tutsi, claims his rebels fight to protect the minority Tutsis from the Hutu militia that fled here after helping perpetrate the 1994 genocide that killed more than half a million Tutsis in Rwanda.