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Six killed in a 'foiled coup' in Congo, the army says

Congolese security forces secure the streets after Congo's army said it has "foiled a coup" and arrested the perpetrators, following a shootout, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Sunday May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Samy Ntumba Shambuyi, File) Congolese security forces secure the streets after Congo's army said it has "foiled a coup" and arrested the perpetrators, following a shootout, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Sunday May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Samy Ntumba Shambuyi, File)
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KINSHASA, Congo -

Six people were killed and dozens arrested following attacks on the residence of a close ally of President Felix Tshisekedi and the presidential palace, in what the country's military described as a foiled coup attempt.

In December, Tshisekedi was reelected as president amid calls for a revote from the opposition over what they said was a lack of transparency.

The six who were killed included 3 assailants and their leader, the self-exiled opposition figure Christian Malanga, Congolese army spokesperson Brig. Gen. Sylvain Ekenge told reporters on Sunday night, adding that around 50 perpetrators were arrested.

Armed men in military uniform clashed Sunday with the guards of Vital Kamerhe, a federal legislator who is close to the Congolese president. Kamerhe's spokesman posted on social media platform X, saying the guards were able to stop them and confirmed the lawmaker and his family were safe.'

Two guards were also killed, Ekenge said.

At first, local media identified the armed men as Congolese soldiers but then reported they were linked to Malanga, who posted a video from inside the presidential palace on Facebook Sunday threatening Tshisekedi.

The army spokesman said Malanga was later killed during a shootout with the presidential guards.

Ekenge said on state television that the attempted coup d'etat was "nipped in the bud by Congolese defense and security forces (and) the situation is under control." Among the perpetrators were three Americans, including Malanga's son, he later said.

The attack came at a difficult time for Tshisekedi's ruling party, gripped by a crisis over an election for the parliament's leadership, which was supposed to be held Saturday but was postponed.

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