Security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo have killed gunmen who opened fire on sites across the capital Kinshasa.
Armed men attacked Kinshasa airport and the state television station RTNC on Monday in what appeared to be an attempt to seize power by supporters of religious leader Paul Joseph Mukungubila.
Congolese troops killed 16 people and detained a further 20.
Lambert Mende, a government spokesman, said on Monday the army had regained control of the city and that the situation was now calm.
Steve Wembi, a journalist based in Kinshasa, told Al Jazeera that the motive behind the series of attacks remains unclear “but people are speculating that this was an attempted coup.”
“Sixty five journalists were rescued by the national army. The situation is now under control of the FARDC (the national army),” Wembi said.
Before transmission was shut down at RTNC, 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.
“They are armed with machetes and guns. They have taken reporters hostage. An operation is under way to dislodge them,” police spokesman colonel Mwana Mputu told the news agency AFP.
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.”
It is not clear if the two attacks are linked.