2 dead in anti-government protests in Congo's capital

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Human Rights Watch says Congolese security forces have shot dead at least two people amid protests in the country's capital against President Joseph Kabila's refusal to step down from power.

The international rights group's Central Africa director, Ida Sawyer, said Sunday the two men were killed outside St. Alphonse church in the Matete district as security forces dispersed peaceful protesters.

Catholic Churches and activists had called for peaceful demonstrations a year after an accord had been signed to set a new election date, free political prisoners and ease tensions, saying the terms have not been met.

The government didn't permit the protests, and cut off SMS and internet service to prevent gatherings.

Critics accuse Kabila of postponing elections to maintain his grip on power in the mineral-rich country.