DRC militia clash with police after leader's death, one killed

DRC flag. (iStock)
DRC flag. (iStock)

Kinshasa - Supporters of a militia leader who was killed in August took over a city in central Democratic Republic of Congo for several hours, and one police officer died in clashes, witnesses said on Thursday.

"On Wednesday morning, nearly 200 supporters of the chief Kamwina Nsapu penetrated and took control of the city of Tshimbulu after killing a police officer," a witness and member of the Catholic clergy told AFP by telephone on Thursday morning.

A journalist from a local radio station in the Kasai-Central province added: "The attackers left the town at around 19:00 after having created great panic. The army retook control of Tshimbulu at around 23:00."

DRC information minister Lambert Mende confirmed only that "the army is carrying out operations in this area".

Tshimbulu is a city of some 150 000 people around 120km from Kananga, the capital of Kasai-Central province.

Tribal chief Kamwina Nsapu was one of 19 people killed during clashes between his militia and government forces in Tshimbulu in mid August.

At the end of September, at least 47 people died in a battle for control of Kananga airport.

And last month, two police officers accused of rape were decapitated by Nsapu supporters in the city of Kabeya-Lumbu in neighbouring Kasai province.

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