Congo’s ruler most likely dead

British Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain has confirmed the leader of war-ravaged Congo, Laurent Kabila, has been killed. "Our ambassador has just confirmed that Kabila is dead," Mr. Hain told BBC Radio following reports from the Democratic Republic of Congo that the president had been killed by one of his bodyguards. "It appears that Kinshasa is stable...It's not obvious whether (Kabila's) death has affected stability in the rest of this vast country, the size of Western Europe," Reuters quotes Mr. Hain as saying. Anyhow, President Kabila's death is sure to plunge the country at the heart of Africa into new uncertainty. Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel told reporters earlier that Mr. Kabila died on Tuesday after being shot in the back and the leg, apparently during a meeting with a group of army generals he had dismissed. According to a report on Belgium's RTBF radio, Mr. Kabila had summoned a group of generals to tell them that they were fired, and during the meeting a bodyguard apparently shot Kabila twice. The Congolese leader was flown by helicopter to Kinshasa hospital where he died, the report said.

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