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Congolese Soldiers Repel Attack on Presidential Residence

Democratic Republic of Congo troops repelled an attack by armed men on the residence of President Joseph Kabila that left seven dead.

The unidentified gunmen “were trying to harm the president” during the incident today in the capital, Kinshasa, government spokesman Lambert Mende said on national television.

Seven of the attackers were killed, and one member of the President’s republican guard was “seriously wounded,” Mende said in a separate interview tonight. Unconfirmed reports suggested that “around 50” men attacked the residence, and sixteen were arrested, he said.

Congo’s second presidential elections since the end of almost a decade of war are scheduled for November. Kabila, 39, became the country’s leader in 2001 when his father, Laurent-Desire Kabila, was assassinated. The younger Kabila led the country through a postwar transitional government from 2003 to 2006, when he was elected president.

The gunmen were “enemies of peace” who wanted to disrupt the coming elections, Mende said.

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