Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo say gunfire has erupted in various parts of Kinshasa, and gunmen have taken several reporters hostage at the state television station in the capital. Attackers also attacked the airport and the Ministry of Defense.
Police put a security cordon around the state television building where the unidentified attackers had taken several people hostage, journalists told Reuters.
Before transmission was shut down, two gunmen appeared on camera to deliver what appeared to be a political message against President Joseph Kabila's government.
“Gideon Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan,” said the message, according to a Reuters reporter who saw a tape of the transmission.
In central Kinshasa, the streets emptied and shopkeepers closed their shutters. A customs official at the international airport on the outskirts of Kinshasa reported heavy gunfire there just minutes after the attack on state television.
“Shooting has started here,” the official told Reuters. “They are shooting everywhere. We are all hiding.”
Heavy gunfire was heard during the attack at the international airport; gunmen also opened fire near the Defense Ministry. There are no immediate reports of casualties.
The outbreak of violence in the capital of DRC has caused considerable panic throughout Kinshasa.
Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.