KINSHASA: The DR Congo military on Sunday thwarted an attempted coup near the offices of President Felix Tshisekedi in Kinshasa involving “foreigners and Congolese”, the army spokesperson said.

The coup bid took place in the early hours of the morning outside the residence of economy minister Vital Kamerhe, in the Gombe area in the north of the capital, near the Palais de la Nation which houses the president’s offices.

“An attempted coup d’etat has been stopped by the defence and security forces,” said General Sylvain Ekenge in a message broadcast on national television.

He added that the “foreigners and Congolese... including their leader” would “all no longer cause any harm”.

Shots were also heard near the Palais de la Nation at the time of the coup attempt, according to a number of sources. Ekenge did not give more details on the coup attempt.

“I am shocked by the events this morning and very worried by the reports of American citizens allegedly involved,” Lucy Tamlyn, the US ambassador to the DRC, posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“Rest assured that we are cooperating with authorities in DRC to the fullest extent possible, as they investigate these criminal acts and hold accountable any American citizen involved.” A number of people were also injured in Brazzaville, when a shell from Kinshasa fell into a neighbourhood in the capital of the Republic of Congo, which sits just across the Congo River from the DRC.

“A few people have been lightly injured, one of whom has been transported to the army hospital of Brazzaville for treatment by the health service,” government spokesperson and Minister of Communication and Media Thierry Moungalla said in a statement.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2024

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