Reporters from Congolese state television RTNC were taken hostage in Kinshasa on Monday by armed youths, police said.
"They are armed with machetes and guns. They have taken reporters hostage. An operation is under way to dislodge them," police spokesman colonel Mwana Mputu told AFP.
Before the station's television feed was cut, two young presenters were seen on screen, appearing frightened but calm, with a young man standing behind them seemingly threatening them.
Residents reported hearing gun shots ringing out from around the RTNC building.
"There's panic in the city, people are asking what is happening," a local resident told AFP, adding that he had seen police and military officers deploy around the RTNC building and the nearby Congolese parliament building.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that in central Kinshasa, the streets emptied and shopkeepers closed their shutters. A customs official at the international airport on the outskirts of Kinshasa reported heavy gunfire there just minutes after the attack on state television.