A man in military uniform opened fire in the palace of President Joseph Kabila on Monday, and two presidential guards and the gunman were killed in the ensuing gunfight, Kabila's spokesman said.

Three other guards were injured. Kabila had just returned to the Congo capital when the shooting occurred and was not in the palace, authorities said.

The gunfight broke out in the same area of the marble presidential palace where Joseph Kabila's father, Laurent, was shot to death at his desk on Jan. 16, 2001.

Authorities did not call the latest shooting an assassination attempt.

"A deranged man in military uniform entered the national security committee premises, took a gun, and attacked the guards for a reason we don't know because he was killed just after," spokesman Kikaya Bin Karubi said.

The attacker fired at the chief guard of the post, Bin Karubi said. The guard was hit, and died after firing back. The other guards were hit as they pursued the attacker, the spokesman said.

The elder Kabila, a former rebel who seized power in 1997, was killed when one of his young bodyguards shot him and was then killed by presidential guards minutes later.

The motives and those behind the attack remain unclear. Congo blamed its foreign enemies in a four-year, six-nation war on Congo soil.

Joseph Kabila assumed the presidency after his father's assassination. Unlike his father, he does not live in the palace.