Shootings in Burundi capital kill four, mayor says survives gun attack


At least four people died in shootings and explosions in various neighbourhoods in Burundi’s capital on Sunday, while the government-supporting mayor’s house was attacked during a night of violence, witnesses and local administration said.

Burundi has been shaken by months of violence, sparked when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided in April to run for a third term. He won a disputed election in July.

Last week, the United Nations Security Council asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report within 15 days on options for boosting the U.N. presence in Burundi amid growing concern that the violence could spiral into an ethnic conflict. Memories are still raw in the region of the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda.

Attackers targeted a police post in the south of the capital, killing one police officer and injuring another, said a police officer who witnessed the incident and did not wish to be named.

Shootings started at around 9.00 p.m. local time in areas like Mutakura, where three people were wounded. The gunfire intensified at midnight and was heard across Bujumbura for several hours, another police officer who did not wish to be named said.

Dieudonné Nduwayo, administrative secretary of Bujumbura’s Bwiza zone, said three other people had been killed in different places within the capital’s Mukaza district.

Bujumbura Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa, a member of Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD party said his home and vehicles parked there were seriously damaged when about 10 people attacked the house in Rohero, a part of the city that has seen little violence.
“Around 10 assailants … shot and threw grenades at my house. We fortunately registered no death because my guard responded,” Mbonimpa told Reuters.

Scores have died in protests and killings and hundreds of thousands have fled Burundi since Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term, a move the opposition said violated the constitution and a peace treaty that ended fighting in 2005.