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At least 30 injured as DRC police and students clash

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Police and students of a technical institute in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are blaming each other for clashes that occured on Friday.

At least 30 people were wounded in the melee on the campus of the Institute of Applied Technologies in Kinshasa.

The students accuse the police of starting the clash when they deployed around the campus while they (students) were holding a peaceful demonstration to demand the release of a colleague detained since Wednesday.

The police reportedly fired live ammunition to disperse the students.

Jacques Mundele, president of the Student Committee explained that the protest to demand the release of their colleague started normally. The protest march he said was peaceful even after they returned to the campus.

“The students were celebrating the release of one of their own. But we realised that the police started firing tear gas and then live ammunition. Thank God that none of us died, but we have up to 100 injured students. That is evidence of their live bullets,” Mundele said.

The police spokesman would not comment on the accusation by the students.

At least six policemen also said they were also injured by the angry demonstrators. Political tensions are on the rise in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The country experienced a series of demonstrations on Thursday organized by the opposition to demand presidential elections be held on schedule.

The opposition protests were on the heels of a constitutional court ruling which says president Kabila can stay on in power if elections fail to come as scheduled.

But the opposition wants the incumbent president, whom they accuse of trying to side step the constitution to step down when his term comes to an end in December.

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