Soldiers loyal to President Laurent Kabila of Congo-Zaire fired into the air to disperse crowds protesting at the detention of the opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi. Rioters threw stones, set vehicles alight and chanted anti-Kabila slogans in Kinshasa, the capital. Soldiers held Mr Tshisekedi after he defied a ban to address a political gathering on Thursday. He was released after questioning yesterday. In neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville, thousands of civilians fled the heaviest fighting in a three-week war. A battle for control of the airport erupted on Wednesday between pro- and anti-presidential factions.