Grenade attacks injure 11 police in Burundi

Eleven Burundian police injured by grenade attacks in capital Bujumbura

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

An overnight grenade attack wounded totally 11 Burundian police officers, one of them seriously injured, in the capital Bujumbura on Saturday, AFP has reported.

"Several police posts as well as police vehicles were attacked with grenades on Friday evening. Eleven police officers were wounded, one of them seriously, and police responded with sustained gunfire," said a senior police official.

The attacks were carried out in Cibitoke, Nyakabiga, Musaga and Jabe districts of Bujumbura where unrest has sparked after President Nkurunziza’s decision to bid for a third term in presidency elections.

"They [the demonstrators] have changed their methods," said the police officer.

Sound of explosions and heavy gunfire were heard across the capital during Friday night.

The residents accused police officers of terrorising civilians.

A coup attempt had failed against Nkurunziza last month and Burundian government faced international reaction since then.

“I can assure that the government is open to dialogue,” said Burundi's Foreign Minister, Aime-Alain Nyamitwe.

“You have to be realistic. We are almost a week away from the first round of the elections, and the legal deadline for candidacies have passed,” he added.

According to UN estimates, more than 60 people have lost their lives in protests opposing Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term and 150,000 civilians have fled to neighbouring countries after the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party nominated Nkurunziza to stand for re-election

Opposition leaders want Nkurunziza to withdraw his third-term presidential bid in the upcoming July 15 elections - claiming it violates the country's constitution and the Arusha Accords, a peace deal that ended an over decade long ethnic civil war in 2005.

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.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on June 29, before the presidential vote which will be held on July 15.

TRTWorld and agencies