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Anti-government march turns violent in Congo capital, 17 dead

At least 17 people, including three policemen, were killed when Congolese police and anti-government protesters clashed in the capital Kinshasa on Monday during a march against President Joseph Kabila and what the protesters see as his bid to extend his mandate.


Anti-government march turns violent in Congo capital, 17 dead

Kinshasa: At least 17 people, including three policemen, were killed when Congolese police and anti-government protesters clashed in the capital Kinshasa on Monday during a march against President Joseph Kabila and what the protesters see as his bid to extend his mandate.

The protest, attended by thousands, came at a time of growing local and international pressure on Kabila to step down when his term of office legally ends in December.
 
The opposition accuses him of plotting to extend his tenure by delaying elections that were supposed to be held in November until at least next year. His supporters deny this.

"Officially, we have 17 dead in Kinshasa: three police and 14 civilians," said Interior Ministry spokesman Claude Pero Luwara.

Earlier, a Reuters witness saw a crowd burning the body of a police officer in the Kinshasa suburb of Limete in an apparent act of retaliation for police gunfire.

Angry crowds tore down photographs of Kabila, chanting in French: "it`s over for you" and "we don`t want you".

Georges Kapiamba, director of the Congolese Association For Access to Justice, a local non-governmental organisation, said that security forces shot dead twenty-five protesters.

Rights groups reported dozens of arrests of protesters and journalists in the capital as well as in Goma and Kisangani, where anti-government marches also took place. 

A government spokesman confirmed the detention of opposition leader Martin Fayulu, who suffered a head injury during the march.

By mid-afternoon, most protesters had been dispersed and the streets in the normally bustling city centre were quiet.

From Zee News

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