Gunmen attack state TV, airport in Democratic Republic of Congo

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."