DRC coup attempt claims six lives

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GLV reporter and agencies.

KINSHASA,DRC- Six people were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday in what the government said was a failed coup attempt on the presidential palace in the capital Kinshasa, Reuters reports.
“We have witnessed a coup attempt,” Information Minister Lambert Mende confirmed to Great Lakes Voice in a telephone interview.
“A group of heavily armed people attacked the presidential palace. They were stopped at the first roadblock. Our soldiers fought with them, arrested some of them and six people were killed.”
Mende said the situation was under control and authorities were trying to identify the suspects. No further details on the casualties were immediately available.
The coup attempt allegations came at the time when the Congolese auditor general was in Kivu for two days to do what authorities said was to ‘interrogate Gen Jean Bosco Ntaganda’ on a mineral business scandal involving foreigners and North Kivu governor Julian Paruku.
Separately, a presidential source said President Joseph Kabila was not in the palace when the attack happened but that he had now returned there and was safe.
Kabila came to power after his father was assassinated in 2001. He faces presidential and parliamentary elections in November this year, the second such polls since the official end of the 1998-2003 war.
In a controversial January 15 move, parliament backed proposals by Kabila to reduce the presidential vote to a single round — scrapping the possibility of a run-off between the two leading candidates if neither has an absolute majority.
The change means the winner can claim the presidency with less than 50 percent popular support and is seen boosting Kabila’s chances of victory because of the fragmented state of the opposition.

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