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DRC: Death Toll Rises in Anti-Government Protests.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Several people were killed and more than 120 others arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo as security forces violently dispersed protests by opposition and religious groups calling for the resignation of the country's President.

At least seven people were killed on Sunday after opposition leaders and Catholic protesters rallied in the capital, Kinshasa, and other localities demanding that President Joseph Kabila step down, Al-Jazeera reported.

State police and military officials in Kinshasa "repressed peaceful protesters", a coalition of human rights groups said, leading to deaths, injuries and the arbitrary arrests of individuals who joined the demonstrations.

Security forces also arrested several people and fired tear gas into churches.

Tensions have been high in the DRC since Kabila refused to relinquish power after his second term as President expired in December 2016. Anti-government protests at that time led to tens of deaths and hundreds of arrests.

The President made an agreement with opposition leaders last year, brokered by the Catholic church, to hold elections some time this year. Signed in October 2016, the Saint Sylvestre Accord stipulated that presidential, legislative and provincial elections would be held "in December 2017 at the latest", but Kabila now says he will stay in power until December 2018 to account for delays in voter registration.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Geographic Code:6ZAIR
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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