Residents report attack on Congolese airport

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 5, 2011 03:49

KINSHASA, Congo — Suspected secessionist rebels on Friday attacked Lubumbashi airport in mineral-rich southern Congo, sparking a three-hour shootout with soldiers that left a civilian guard dead, residents said.

Information Minister Lambert Mende confirmed the attack but said the gunmen had not been identified.

The attackers descended on the airport around 4 a.m. Friday, and soldiers rushed in reinforcements to drive them off. A civilian guard was killed and an army captain wounded, according to residents who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution.

A businessman at the airport said none of the 18 aircraft was targeted or damaged, and flights had resumed at the airport by midday.

"The situation is calm and the airport is open to traffic," Mende said.


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