40 killed as Congo army repels attacks on airport, barracks and state television HQ in Kinshasa


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The Independent Online

Congolese soldiers have repulsed attacks on the airport, a barracks and the state television headquarters in Kinshasa – killing 40 of the 70 assailants, who were believed to be followers of religious leader Paul Joseph Mukungubila, officials said.

Before transmission was shut down at the state television, gunmen shouted what appeared to be a political message against President Joseph Kabila, who took office in 2001 after the assassination of his father Laurent.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende said: “We have total control of the situation.”

Mr Kabila’s supporters said the assault was carried out by poorly organised youths in civilian clothing with aged military equipment and appeared to be more a political statement than a serious attempt to seize power in a city of 9 million people.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, a vast country at the heart of Africa, is struggling to emerge from decades of violence.