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Gunfire has been heard at several locations in Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, including the state TV and radio headquarters and the airport. Youths armed with machetes and guns had taken reporters hostage, a police spokesman told the AFP news agency.

President Joseph Kabila of the DRC
President Joseph Kabila of the DRC

A customs official told Reuters that gunmen began shooting at the international airport shortly after the attack on RTNC’s headquarters. The information minister says the situation was now under control.

Lambert Mende told BBC Africa at about 11.00 local time (10:00 GMT) that several arrests had been made.The cause of the attacks was not clear, he said.

Earlier, there were also reports of gunfire from a military base in the city.

A taxi driver told AFP he heard about “six or seven shots” from heavy weapons fired at the Tshatshi camp. The shots were heard between 09:00 and 09:30 local time.

The Ndjili airport customs official told the Reuters news agency: “Shooting has started here. They are shooting everywhere. We are all hiding.”

Congolese security forces were reported to be at the scene at the state media headquarters.

Before the channels went off air, two gunmen appeared on camera to deliver what appeared to be a political message against President Joseph Kabila’s government, Reuters reports.

“Gideon Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan,” said the message, according to Reuters.

In 1997, Rwandan-backed troops ousted DR Congo’s long-serving ruler Mobutu Sese Seko and installed Laurent Kabila – the father of incumbent leader Joseph Kabila – as president.

President Joseph Kabila won his second term in office two years ago.

Source: BBC News