Election vehicles torched in DRC

2011-11-28 13:28

Lubumbashi – Gunmen today attacked vehicles carrying ballots to a polling station in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) second city, police said.

They said the attackers swooped in the early hours of the morning on a convoy of eight jeeps and fled when police escorting the vehicles opened fire, wounding some of the assailants.

Two jeeps carrying nearly 1 000 ballot papers were burned in the attack, AFP correspondents said.

Afterward residents of the area showed an AFP photographer presidential ballots that they said had already been marked when they found them.

Separately, bursts of gunfire were heard in the city around midday, causing panic in Njanja district, with people running for cover.

It was not immediately clear where the shots were coming from or why.

An ex-member of a Katanga separatist group fighting for the province’s independence told AFP the group had carried out the ambush on the election convoy.

“We want a self-determination referendum, and not this vote that doesn’t have anything to do with us in Katanga,” the self-described lieutenant Chana Kazi said by phone from South Africa.

Lubumbashi, the restive capital of the mining province of Katanga, had been a flash point of political violence in the run-up to today’s elections.

Earlier this month, two days of street fights between opposition and government supporters shut down parts of the city.

Banks and other businesses closed amid unrest in which shop windows were shattered and pedestrians mugged.

On Sunday, gunmen attacked a military camp and arms depot in the city, killing one and fleeing after exchanging gunfire with soldiers.

Provincial authorities said they had arrested three of the attackers, suspected of being separatist militants fighting for the province’s independence.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.