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Death toll in Congo attacks rises to 100: government

Congolese security officers position themselves as they secure the street near the state television headquarters (C) in the capital Kinshasa
Congolese security officers position themselves as they secure the street near the state television headquarters (C) in the capital Kinshasa

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Around 100 people were killed on Monday in Democratic Republic of Congo when security forces clashed with supporters of a self-proclaimed 'prophet' who tried to seize control of the airport, a military barracks and state television, the government said.

Paul Joseph Mukungubila, who calls himself 'the prophet of the Eternal' was on the run from authorities, government spokesman Lambert Mende said on Tuesday.

Mukungubila, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2006, said the attacks were in response to government harassment of his supporters.

Armed youths attacked the airport, a military barracks and the state television headquarters in Kinshasa on Monday before being repulsed by troops. The government had earlier said dozens were killed.

Clashes between Mukungubila's supporters and security forces also took place on Monday in the eastern mining town of Lumbumbashi at a church run by Mukungubila, witnesses said.

The pastor has railed against President Joseph Kabila's decision to make peace with Tutsi rebels in eastern Congo, saying the president was bowing to pressure from Rwanda.

Democratic Republic of Congo is struggling to emerge from decades of violence and instability, particularly in its east, in which millions of people have died, mostly from hunger and disease. A 21,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) is stationed in the country.

(Reporting by Bienvenu Bakumanya; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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