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Christian sect attacks Kinshasa prison and frees leader

Christian sect members have stormed a prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, freeing the leader of their movement and 50 others, officials say.

Bundu dia Kongo movement leader Ne Mwanda Nsemi is now on the run after a 4am attack on Malaka prison in Kinshasa, Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba told local radio station Top Congo FM.

Gunfire could be heard in the morning, but the justice minister said the situation is now under control.

"Security force members who were sent as reinforcements have entered the prison," he said.

"Ne Mwanda Nsemi is on the run, but we will soon get our hands on him."

Ne Mwanda Nsemi was arrested in March, along with many followers, after clashes between them and police.

He has a strong following in south western Congo.

Ne Mwanda Nsemi has led the sect since 1986.

The group says it seeks the rehabilitation of the pre-colonial Kongo kingdom.

Clashes between the sect and police in 2008 saw hundreds killed in Bas-Congo province.

AP

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