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Zimbabwe may have moved up to 600 troops and four fighter jets to Kinshasa to bolster embattled Congolese President Laurent Kabila against Tutsi-led rebels threatening to topple him, diplomatic sources said today.

"There are various figures flying around . . . but quite a number of people say Zimbabwe has committed between 300 and 600 men, and that these may already be around Kinshasa," one Western diplomat told Reuters.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, spearheading a campaign for a regional military intervention in the former Zaire, told state media on Thursday his government would not discuss details of its involvement.

He and South African President Nelson Mandela are at loggerheads over whether to commit troops to the conflict. Mandela favors a diplomatic solution.

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