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LEADER OF REPUBLIC OF CONGO COUP MOVES TO STRENGTHEN HIS GRIP

The man who took over this Central African nation by force moved quickly Tuesday to seal his hold on the country, detaining more than a dozen foreigners suspected of aiding his enemy and seizing arms at highway roadblocks.

As the first planeloads of aid arrived in the capital, fighters from Gen. Denis Sassou-Nguesso's militia set up blockades on major routes and searched vehicles for arms and ammunition. The maneuvers aimed to quell widespread looting and lawlessness six days after the the militia took control of the capital from President Pascal Lissouba.

In the Republic of Congo's second-largest city, Pointe Noire, 15 foreigners were being held on suspicion of aiding Lissouba during a four-month civil war that ended Oct. 15.

France and Angola sent aid to Brazzaville on Tuesday. A team of 38 French medical workers arrived to set up 40-bed hospital with an emergency surgery section and a pediatrics unit. More planes carrying 30 tons of equipment were due in coming days.

The French will work with a U.N. team that also arrived Tuesday and which will evaluate humanitarian needs.

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