Gunmen Open Fire At Kinshasa Airport

Congolese security officers position themselves as they secure the street near the state television headquarters (C) in the capital Kinshasa, DRC, Dec. 30, 2013.
Congolese security officers position themselves as they secure the street near the state television headquarters (C) in the capital Kinshasa, DRC, Dec. 30, 2013.

Unidentified gunmen have opened fire at a military airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, an airport source has said.

“A vehicle full of unidentified armed men arrived and started shooting straight at the airport. Soldiers with the air force returned fire,” AFP quoted the source at the Ndolo airport as saying on Thursday.

The attack came days after a wave of coordinated attacks by armed assailants in Kinshasa and two other cities left more than 100 dead.

On Monday, Congo’s government spokesman Lambert Mende said the army repulsed the attacks by the assailants on the state television station, the airport and the main military base in Kinshasa.

Mende also said that shooting had broken out in Lubumbashi, the country’s second-largest city located in southeastern Congo.

Clashes also erupted in the eastern town of Kindu.

Mende said on Tuesday that 95 attackers and eight members of the armed forces were killed during the “terrorist offensive” in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.

Joseph Munkugubila Mutombo, who ran for president in 2006, was engaged in the attack and was on the run, Mende said.

“He has vanished courageously,” said the government spokesman, adding, “He himself does not believe that his cause is right, a cause for which he is claiming responsibility in phone calls from a neighboring country, or not too far away from ours. This man is a fugitive, he’s on the run.”

Mutombo, however, denied fleeing the country and called on President Joseph Kabila to resign.

Despite the demise of the March 23 rebel group, the DRC continues to host a multitude of rebel groups mostly operating in the country’s mineral-rich east.

On November 5, 2013, the DRC claimed “total victory” over the M23 after capturing the group’s remaining hilltop positions north of the eastern city of Goma with the assistance of a UN-mandated African force.

Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades such as grinding poverty and crumbling infrastructure.

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