Gunfire rings out in Congo’s capital as men in military uniform clash with politician’s guards

3 weeks ago 21

Author of the article:

The Associated Press

Published May 19, 2024  •  1 minute read

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Gunfire rang out in Congo’s capital early Sunday morning as armed men in military uniform clashed with a top politician’s guards in a neighborhood near the presidential palace, resulting in the death of three people, according to the politician’s spokesman and local media.

The armed men attacked the Kinshasa residence of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator and former vice prime minister of economy, but were repelled by his guards, Michel Moto Muhima, his spokesperson said on the X social media platform.

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“The Honorable Vital Kamerhe and his family are safe and sound. Their security has been reinforced,” he wrote.

Local media identified the men as Congolese soldiers. It was not clear if they were trying to arrest the politician, who is a candidate for speaker of the National Assembly of Congo in an election that had been scheduled to be held on Saturday but was delayed due to a dispute within the ruling party.

Two police officers and one of the attackers were killed in the shootout that started around 4:30 a.m. at the house on Tshatshi Boulevard which is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the presidential palace and where some embassies are also located, according to Muhima.

Footage, seemingly from the area, shows military trucks and heavily armed men parading deserted streets in the neighborhood.

The United States Embassy in Congo issued a security alert, urging caution after “reports of gunfire.”

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Associated Press journalist Chinedu Asadu in Abuja, Nigeria contributed to this report.

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