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NORMAL LIFE SOUGHT AFTER WAR IN CONGO

A few small grocery stores were open for business in Congo's business capital, Pointe Noire, Saturday, and residents were hoping for a return to normality after the apparent end of a four-month civil war.

Former military ruler Denis Sassou Nguesso, backed by Angolan troops, overran Pointe Noire on Wednesday, the day after his Cobra militia routed soldiers loyal to President Pascal Lissouba in the capital, Brazzaville.

Sassou proclaimed himself victor Friday and said he would form a national unity government.

Residents said Pointe Noire airport was still closed, but airline engineers had been inspecting damage to planes and installations, and airline officials were optimistic that both Pointe Noire and Brazzaville airports could reopen Monday.

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