Gunfire has been heard at several locations in Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, including the state TV and radio headquarters and the airport. Youths armed with machetes and guns have taken reporters hostage, a police spokesman has told the AFP news agency.
A customs official told Reuters that gunmen began shooting at the international airport shortly after the attack on RTNC’s headquarters. There are also reports on social media of gunfire from a military compound. “Shooting has started here. They are shooting everywhere. We are all hiding,” the airport customs official told the Reuters news agency. Congolese security forces are at the scene at the RTNC headquarters.
“An operation is under way to dislodge them,” police spokesman Colonel Mwana Mputu told AFP. Before the channels went off air, two gunmen appeared on camera to deliver what appeared to be a political message against President Joseph Kabila’s government, Reuters reports.
“Gideon Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan,” said the message, according to Reuters. In 1997, Rwandan-backed troops ousted DR Congo’s long-serving ruler Mobutu Sese Seko and installed Laurent Kabila – the father of incumbent leader Joseph Kabila – as president. President Joseph Kabila won his second term in office two years ago.