KINSHASA, Dec 30 – Forty people who took part in an uprising Monday in Kinshasa, taking hostages and firing at the airport and a military headquarters, have been killed, the DR Congo government said.
“There were 16 who fell at the airport, eight who died at the RTNC (national radio and television) premises and 16 at the general staff headquarters,” government spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP. “No civilian casualties have been reported and no victims in the security forces.”
Heavy gunfire erupted in several areas of the Congolese capital Kinshasa on Monday morning, including the international airport and the military headquarters, causing panic among residents.
Police also said armed youths had taken hostage several reporters from the state television station RTNC in Kinshasa.
“There’s panic in the city, people are asking what is happening,” a local resident told AFP, adding that he had seen police and military officers deploy around the RTNC building and the nearby Congolese parliament.
Shooting was heard near the Tshatshi military camp as well as the international airport at Ndjili, residents and a local journalist said.
A police spokesman said earlier that journalists at RTNC had been taken hostage by armed youths, and the television feed had been cut.
“They are armed with machetes and guns. They have taken reporters hostage. An operation is under way to dislodge them,” spokesman colonel Mwana Mputu told AFP.
Before the station’s television feed was cut, two young presenters were seen on screen, appearing frightened but calm, with a young man standing behind them seemingly threatening them.