Six bullets for top Congo journalist

KINSHASA - Unidentified gunmen shot dead journalist Patient Chebeya Bankome outside his home at Beni in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a Congolese press organisation has reported.

KINSHASA - Unidentified gunmen shot dead journalist Patient Chebeya Bankome outside his home at Beni in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a Congolese press organisation has reported.

Bankome, 35, a reporter-cameraman better known as "Montigomo", was "killed by gunshots on Monday at 10.30pm at his home in the Mulekera district by three men in military uniforms," Journalistes en Danger (JED) said.

"Montigomo was coming back from his recording studio when he was surrounded at the door to his home by assailants who had clearly been waiting for his arrival," the nongovernmental press organisation said.

"He was robbed of his bag holding video cassettes, his mobile telephone and an unknown sum of money before being taken into the middle of the yard, where he was gunned down at point-blank range with six bullets in his body."

Two suspects were arrested two hours after the murder about 5km away, JED said.

Montigomo is the sixth journalist to have been killed in the strife-torn north-east region of the DRC since 2005. Several armed groups have been active in the region for more than a decade.

"Before him, Pascal Kabungulu, Serge Maheshe, Patrick Kikuku, Didace Namujimbo and Bruno Koko Chirambiza met with death in circumstances that have not been cleared up to date," JED said.

Three suspects are currently on trial before the military tribunal at Bukavu, the chief town in Sud-Kivu province, accused of the murder of Namujimbo, who had worked for UN-sponsored Radio Okapi.

Montigomo "was a prominent journalist who covered armed conflicts in the east of the DR Congo," JED said. - Sapa-AFP

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