Police: Six killed in Burundi violence

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At least six people were killed in clashes in Burundi’s capital on Tuesday, police said, the latest violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term in power.

Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said one policeman was among the dead and another was seriously wounded in clashes with “insurgents” in the Ngagara district of Bujumbura.

“There have been several armed criminal attacks in many neighbourhoods of Bujumbura which were apparently co-ordinated,” a senior police officer said, confirming that six people were killed in separate attacks overnight on Sunday.

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Police spokesperson Pierre Nkurikiye declined to comment on Monday on the violence.

Burundi descended into violence in April after President Pierre Nkurunziza launched a bid for a third consecutive term in office, despite concerns over the legality of such a move.

 At least 240 people have been killed and more than 200 000 have fled the country since the opposition took to the streets to protest the incumbent’s refusal to give up power.

Three people were killed in a shooting at a bar with a fourth killed nearby, overnight Sunday, a witness and police said, while two civilians were also killed in Bujumbura.

Another person was killed and seven others wounded overnight Saturday in an attack on another small bar. Three police officers were also wounded in attacks.

Burundi is still scarred by memories of its 1993-2006 civil war pitting rebels from the Hutu majority against an army dominated by minority Tutsis.

At least 300 000 people were killed in the conflict, which kicked off a year before a genocide of mainly Tutsi people in neighbouring Rwanda.

International alarm has been mounting after repeated appeals to Nkurunziza to enter dialogue with the opposition went unanswered and the political rhetoric grew increasingly poisonous – drawing comparisons with the hate speech that whipped up the violence in Rwanda.

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