Thousands of people demonstrated Monday against alleged plans by Congolese President Joseph Kabila to extend his rule, with an opposition representative saying 15 protesters were killed during clashes with police in Kinshasa.
Unconfirmed reports said police officers were also killed.
Police fired real bullets at demonstrators, Martin Fayulu from the opposition party Engagement for the Citizenry and Development (Ecide) told dpa.
He said the fatalities included seven students. Several people were reported to have been injured and several arrested.
“The situation is very tense here. I have just taken a young person who had been hit by a bullet to hospital,” Fayulu said.
Demonstrators burned tyres, blocking traffic.
Protests also took place in Goma in the east of the country.
The protests followed the adoption by parliament of a measure requiring a census before presidential elections scheduled for 2016. Critics say the move is aimed at allowing Kabila to extend his rule beyond the two terms allowed by the constitution.