Grenades hurled in deadly post-election Burundi clashes

At least three people were killed and 15 others wounded in Monday’s clashes, the latest in months of unrest triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s successful bid to win a third term in office.

Attacks have included gunmen firing rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns on security forces in the capital Bujumbura, with the government blaming “criminal gangs.”

On Monday, police killed a “madman” who tried to attack officers with a machete in Bujumbura, police spokesperson Pierre Nkurikiye said.

Later, gunmen hurled grenades and fired on security forces, a police officer said, resulting in a firefight in which one civilian was killed. Seven policemen, two soldiers and three civilians were also wounded.

In a separate attack, a government official told Agence-France Presse that gunmen killed at least one policeman in a “very violent” attack in the Kamenge district of Bujumbura.

“For nearly an hour we heard the sound of grenades and rocket explosions, the sound of firearms including machine guns,” the official, who asked not to be named, said.

Others suggested the number killed was far higher, and one police officer speaking on condition of anonymity said that “many were killed from our ranks,” without giving further details. 

On Tuesday, a corpse riddled with bullets was found dumped in a Bujumbura residential district, several witnesses said, a regular occurence in recent weeks in the capital.

Sporadic street protests and violence have rocked Bujumbura since April, when Nkurunziza launched his third-term bid culminating in his controversial re-election in July.

Opponents said it breached the terms of a peace deal that paved the way to ending a 13-year civil war in 2006.

The UN has warned that Burundi risks sliding back into civil war after a dramatic rise in killings, arrests and detentions, with over 200,000 refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries.

Some 200 people have been killed in Burundi since violence broke out in April, with a third of those in the past month alone, the UN says. – AFP

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Test backlog skews SA’s corona stats

With thousands of samples still waiting to be processed, labs are racing to ramp up testing to help the government gain a better idea of how prevalent Covid-19 really is

M&G’s latest Covid-19 projections

Covid-19 numbers are prompting disaster declarations and dramatic action across South Africa this week. All steps should be directed by numbers

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories