Gunmen belonging to a gang of armed robbers shot dead eight people including a senior military officer in an ambush on four cars travelling on a main road in Burundi, police said.
The attack occurred late on Sunday on a road between Bujumbura, the commercial capital of the central African country, and its political capital Gitenga, police said in a Twitter post.
Among the dead were a lieutenant colonel and a child he was travelling with. “Eight passengers dead, several injured and property stolen from them,” police tweeted.
A government worker in the area who did not wish to be named because he was not authorised to comment on the matter told Reuters the attackers numbered about ten, were armed with AK-47 automatic rifles and grenades, and were in civilian clothes.
There have been previous such attacks in the region situated near the porous border with the Democratic of Republic Congo where violent lawlessness is widespread.
A group of gunmen that authorities said had been making incursions into the area from bases in Congo carried out several attacks in August and September, killing at least 15 people.