Explosions kill three in Burundi protests

Three people killed in grenade attack during protests against current President’s bid for third term in Burundi

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Twin grenades were thrown into demonstrators in Burundi’s capital of Bujumbura and killed three people on Friday, the latest and most deadly attack on demonstrations that have been held since April, Reuters has reported.

"Those who did this had the intention to kill, because the grenades were thrown among women selling fruits, in a big crowd," deputy police chief, General Godefroid Bizimana, said, adding that the attackers escaped.

In Thursday’s clashes, two protesters were killed by police gunfire and eight were wounded according to the Red Cross. After the grenade attack, at least 30 people have died during the protests in total.

According to electoral commission spokesman Prosper Ntahorwmiye, demonstrators stopped a vehicle carrying voting booths and ballot boxes in Mukiki province and burned election materials.

"This is the first time such an incident happens, we will take appropriate measures to ensure this does not happen again," Ntahorwmiye said, adding that two soldiers fired into the air to stop the crowd, but "all the equipment was burned."

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has delayed parliamentary elections which were set for May 26 by a week, after nearly a month of anti-government demonstrations and a failed military coup in the east African state.

The decision came after recommendations from Burundi’s election commission, opposition politicians and the international community for a postponement

The defense and foreign ministers of Burundi were dismissed by president Nkurunziza following the failed coup attempt.

The crisis began in late April, in opposition to current President Nkurunziza's standing for election for a third term.

The constitution limits the presidency to two terms in office, but Nkurunziza's supporters say he can run again because his first term was picked by lawmakers and not by elections.

Despite the demonstrations against his third term bid, Burundi's Constitutional Court approved President Pierre Nkurunziza’s candidacy.

Nkurunziza called on all refugees to “come back home,” promising to secure them against all threats.

More than 100,000 people have fled to neighboring nations since the political violence that culminated in last week's foiled coup attempt erupted in April, according to the UN.

Cholera has claimed the lives of thirty-one Burundian refugees in camps ın Tanzania with 3,000 cases of the epidemic reported since last week, the UN refugee agency has said.

According to Al Jazeera, there are 50,000 refugees stranded on the shore of Lake Tanganyika, where cholera has spread.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that tens of thousands of refugees had been displaced from Burundi because of the civil war and the outbreak of diseases had become a "a new, worrying, and growing additional complication,” in Tanzania.

TRTWorld and agencies