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Three killed as gunmen in military uniform clash with guards of top Congo politician

Vital Kamerhe, former chief of staff to Felix Tshisekedi, president of Congo Vital Kamerhe, former chief of staff to Felix Tshisekedi, president of Congo

Armed men in military uniform have attacked the residence of Vital Kamerhe, former chief of staff to Felix Tshisekedi, president of Congo.

The attack took place in the early hours of Sunday in Kinshasha, the country’s capital.

Michel Muhima, Kamerhe’s spokesperson, said the gunmen engaged the politician’s guards in a shootout, leaving three people dead.

Kamerhe’s residence is about two kilometres from the presidential palace.

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Muhima said two of the deceased were police officers attached to Kamerhe while the other was one of the attackers.

Reports from local media identified the attackers as Congolese soldiers. It is unclear if they were trying to arrest the politician, who is a candidate for speaker of the country’s national assembly.

The election was scheduled to be held on Saturday but was delayed due to a dispute within the ruling party.

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In a statement posted on X, Muhima said Kamerhe, a former vice prime minister of the economy, and his family are safe and their security has been reinforced.

“The residence of the honorable Vital KAMERHE was attacked around 4:30 am, this Sunday, May 19, 2024, by a group of armed men in military uniform,” he wrote.

“Two of the police officers assigned to his guard, as well as one of the attackers, lost their lives. The Honorable Vital KAMERHE and his family are safe and sound, their security has been reinforced.”

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