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143 held at DR Congo election demo

One hundred and forty three people have been arrested at a demonstration in central London over the elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, police said.

Most of the arrests came at about 9pm after a group broke away from the main protest and began to damage property including cars and shops as well as threatening members of the public, Scotland Yard said.

The demonstration had started in Whitehall at about 11.30 after agreement with police for a static protest, a Yard spokesman said.

At 4.15pm, demonstrators moved from the agreed location and blocked Whitehall, the spokesman added.

Officers then made 33 arrests for various offences including obstructing police and obstructing a public highway.

The protest then moved into the Trafalgar Square area, before the breakaway group started causing trouble. Officers detained the group in Lower Regent Street close to the junction with Waterloo Place and 110 people were arrested on suspicion of affray.

The bitterly contested election has sparked violence in the African country which has left at least 18 people dead.

DR Congo's president Joseph Kabila won another term in office with 49% of the 18.14 million votes cast according to provisional results published on Saturday by DR Congo's election commission.

Long-time opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi trailed with 32% of the vote, according to the final tallies released by election commission chief Daniel Ngoy Mulunda.

It was only the second democratic election in DR Congo's 51-year history, and the first to be organised entirely by the government instead of by the international community.


From Belfast Telegraph