Kinshasa, Dec 31 (AFP) Four people including a police officer and an electoral official were killed Sunday in eastern South-Kivu province as the DR Congo voted in presidential elections, the campaign of opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi said. Also Read - PM Modi to Review COVID Situation With CMs of 8 States Today: Here's What To Expect

The officer and official were killed along with two civilians during clashes at a polling station in the Walungu area, campaign director Vital Kamerhe told AFP. Also Read - India Briefs Foreign Envoys on Pakistan Hand in Terror Plot Foiled in Nagrota Last Week

He said the violence broke out after the electoral official was accused of trying to rig the vote in favour of Emmanuel Ramazini Shadary, the candidate championed by President Joseph Kabila in power for 17 years. Also Read - Night Curfew, Cap on Wedding Guests, Mandatory Test For Travel: How States Are Fighting Fresh COVID Spike

“An agitated crowd started fighting with police. An officer was killed, which we deeply regret,” said Kamerhe, a former president of the National Assembly who is from South-Kivu.

The mob “then attacked the electoral official who died. Two civilians were also killed.” South-Kivu authorities said an investigation had been opened into the incident.

Catholic Church election observers (Cenco) did not mention the deaths in their third and final report on Sunday’s vote at 2000 GMT.

The election gives the DRC the chance for its first peaceful transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Analysts, though, warned of the threat of upheaval was great, given organisational hitches and suspicion of Kabila, who had refused to quit in 2016 after his two-term limit expired. (AFP) SMN SMN

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.