Government officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo said that authorities had regained control of several strategic buildings in the capital of Kinshasa after a botched coup d'état allegedly orchestrated by supporters of religious leader Paul Joseph Mukungubila.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende said that 40 gunmen were killed in fighting to regain control.

"We have total control of the situation," Mende said. Many of the rebels had been arrested, he added.

"The attackers presented themselves as supporters of Mukungubila," information minister Lambert Mende said.

Gunmen laid siege to the state TV and radio headquarters and gunfire was heard at Kinshasa international airport and at a local military base. The attackers stormed the TV station and took a number of staff hostage.

Two gunmen briefly appeared on camera to read a message condemning President Joseph Kabila before transmission was cut.

"Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan," the message said.

Mukungubila who calls himself the "Prophet of the Eternal" lost elections to Kabila in 2006.

He has recently criticised a government peace deal with the M23 rebel group, which started an allegedly Rwandan-backed insurrection in 2012.

The Foreign Office advised Britons in DR Congo to stay indoors and exercise caution.

"This unrest has the potential to spread and you are therefore advised to stay indoors where possible and exercise caution," the travel advisory said.