A man in a military uniform opened fire in the palace of President Joseph Kabila today, leading to an exchange in which two presidential guards and the gunman were killed, Kabila's spokesman said.

Three other guards were injured. Kabila had just returned to the Congolese capital when the shooting occurred but was not in the palace, authorities said.

The gunfight broke out in the same area of the marble presidential palace where Joseph Kabila's father, Laurent, was shot to death at his desk on Jan. 16, 2001. Joseph Kabila, who assumed the presidency after his father's assassination, does not live in the palace.

Authorities did not call the latest shooting an assassination attempt.

"A deranged man in military uniform entered the national security committee premises, took a gun and attacked the guards for a reason we don't know because he was killed just after," said a spokesman, Kikaya Bin Karubi.

The attacker fired at the post's chief guard, Bin Karubi said. The guard was hit and died after firing back. The other guards were hit as they pursued the attacker, the spokesman said.

The elder Kabila, a former rebel who seized power in 1997, was killed when one of his young bodyguards shot him; the bodyguard was killed by presidential guards minutes later. It was unclear who was behind the attack, and what their motives were. Congo blamed its foreign enemies in a four-year, six-nation war on Congo's soil.