Gunmen attack state TV, airport in Democratic Republic of Congo

A Congolese armored vehicle of the UPC Congo (Unite de Police Constituee) disperse people during a protest against the French "Sangaris" intervention in the Galabadia neighbourhood close to Centrafrican President's private house in the eigth district of Bangui on December 22, 2013. According to Muslim residents, clashes broke out early on December 22 between the French soldiers and the ex-Seleka fighters, who mounted a successful coup in March but have since refused to lay down their arms. They said three fighters were killed and several others were wounded, but their claims have not been confirmed by the French military.

KINSHASA - Gunmen attacked the airport and seized control of the state television headquarters in the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday, witnesses reported.

Police put a security cordon around the state television building where the unidentified attackers had taken several people hostage, journalists told Reuters.

Before transmission was shut down, two gunmen appeared on camera to deliver what appeared to be a political message against President Joseph Kabila's government. "Gideon Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan," said the message, according to a Reuters reporter who saw a tape of the transmission.

In central Kinshasa, the streets emptied and shopkeepers closed their shutters. A customs official at the international airport on the outskirts of Kinshasa reported heavy gunfire there just minutes after the attack on state television.

"Shooting has started here," the official told Reuters."They are shooting everywhere. We are all hiding."