Many targets in Sunday’s DRCongo attacks: government – see also quote of Mende in bold

KINSHASA — The national radio and television headquarters and other institutions were targeted during a weekend attack on the residence of Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and a military camp, a government spokesman said Tuesday.
Besides the residence and the camp “we also know that many other sites, the RTNC (national radio-television)…had been targeted,” Lambert Mende told a news conference.
“We’ve been able to get our hands on most of the people who had been deployed to attack these different sites,” he added.

“There is a whole list of these sites,” he said, though he was only prepared to identify the radio-television centre.
“A ‘captain’ responsible for the attack.. fell at the head of his troops” and would be identified as “a former member of a former armed group, that’s all we know,” Mende said, without giving further details.
The two attacks were carried out on Sunday in the early afternoon “a few minutes apart” by “50 to 60 men” split into two groups, Mende said.
They were directed at the presidential residence and the Kokolo camp “where they tried to get hold of munitions” without success.
More than 60 of the “terrorists” were arrested and were questioned, including both the attackers and other people, “whose names were given” by those under arrest, he told AFP.
He said seven of the attackers had been killed, while a UN source quoting DRC security sources put the number at 10.
The UN source added that about 100 men had attacked “simultaneously” the residence and the camp. A member of the Republican Guard (the former Presidential Guard) was also killed, Mende said.
The attackers were “equipped with relatively major firepower” including Kalashnikov rifles and RPG7 rocket-propelled grenades, and carried knives and machetes, as well as “fetish amulets”, he added.
He said that the attack was not a coup attempt but “a terrorist attack” designed to “frighten the people of Kinshasa.”
The inquiry opened by the legal authorities would make it possible to “know more about the instigators, participants, organisers, possible complicit networks and the aims of this criminal action,” Mende said.
“The terrorist axis with its political backers and internal and external logistics are from now on under surveillance.
“If the country is disrupted by attacks of this kind, which could be repeated if we do not take steps to eradicate them, well it is not very likely that elections can take place,” Mende said.
The presidential poll is scheduled for the end of next November. Kabila, elected in 2006, who will be 40 in June, is expected to run again.

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