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Violence ahead of Congo elections

Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 00:52

Nov 27 - Congo police stop opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi from holding an election rally after at least two die in violence in the capital. Rough cut (No reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Police in Congo blocked President Joseph Kabila's main rival at an airport in Kinshasa on Saturday (November 27) to stop him staging an election rally after at least two died in violence across the central African state's capital city. Two days before presidential and parliamentary elections, rival factions hurled rocks at each other and gunfire was heard across town. A Reuters reporter saw one lifeless body on the road to the airport while a U.N. source reported another death elsewhere in town. The eruption of violence was the latest sign of tension in the run-up to Congo's second election since a 1998-2003 war, a poll which has been marked by opposition allegations of irregularities and concerns about inadequate preparations. In a stand-off that began just after midday, police stopped opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi and his entourage from leaving Kinshasa's N'djili airport after his party said it would defy a ban on political rallies imposed earlier on Saturday. Tens of thousands of Congolese were walking towards the airport by early evening, most of them identifiable as Tshisekedi supporters. Some chanted his name while many billboards for Kabila and his allies had been torn down. Kabila, Tshisekedi and the other main challenger, Vital Kamerhe, had all been due to hold rallies within several hundred metres of each other in central Kinshasa on Saturday.

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Violence ahead of Congo elections

Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 00:52