Tensions boil in DRC after deadly protest

2015-01-20 07:40
Anti-government protesters block a road and burn tires during a protest against a new law that could delay elections to be held in 2016, in the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. (John Bompengo, AP)

Anti-government protesters block a road and burn tires during a protest against a new law that could delay elections to be held in 2016, in the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. (John Bompengo, AP)

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Beni, Congo - Thousands of people demonstrated on Monday against alleged plans by Congolese President Joseph Kabila to extend his rule.

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende confirmed late on Monday that nine people were inadvertently shot dead in clashes with police in Kinshasa. An opposition representative earlier said that 15 protesters were killed.

Unconfirmed reports said police officers were also killed.

Police fired real bullets at demonstrators, Martin Fayulu from the opposition party Engagement for the Citizenry and Development (Ecide) told dpa.

He said the fatalities included seven students. Several people were reported injured and several arrested.

"The situation is very tense here. I have just taken a young person who had been hit by a bullet to hospital," Fayulu said.

Demonstrators burnt tyres, blocking traffic.

Protests also took place in Goma in eastern DRC.

The protests followed the adoption by parliament of a measure requiring a census before presidential elections scheduled for 2016. Critics say the move is aimed at allowing Kabila to extend his rule beyond the two terms allowed by the constitution.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

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