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Congolese armed forces thwart coup attempt — spokesman

Gunfire was heard in the morning near the residence of Vital Kamerhe

HARARE, May 19. /TASS/. The armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo have suppressed a coup attempt, army spokesman Brigadier General Sylvain Ekenge said.

"The coup attempt was suppressed on Sunday by the defense and security forces in the capital, Kinshasa," the spokesman said in a televised statement. "The army assures that the situation is under control and asks the people of Kinshasa to go about their business in peace," he emphasized, adding that the coup plotters had been arrested. The spokesman did not give their names.

Ekenge said that details would follow. "For now, we want to assure the citizens of the country and the international community that the Congolese army and security forces quickly restored public order, which had been disrupted by the armed men," he said.

Gunfire was heard in the morning near the residence of Vital Kamerhe, a deputy and candidate for speaker of the Congolese lower house of parliament, the Actualite news outlet reported. Three people were killed, including two police officers.

At the same time, videos appeared on social media showing the presence of armed men in the presidential palace building. They wore uniforms with the insignia of one of the rebel groups and could be heard speaking in English and French. In the video, they said that they were seeking the removal of Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi from power, the news outlet said. They named Christian Malanga, who has lived in the United States in recent years, as the leader of the rebels.

In turn, the Media Congo news outlet reported that Malanga was eliminated by government forces during the coup.