Armed forces in Burundi
BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AA) – Burundi’s army chief of staff escaped an assassination attempt on Friday morning, but seven others, including four soldiers, lost their lives, security forces told Anadolu Agency.
The attack took place at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) while General Prime Niyongabo was heading to his office, deputy director-general of the Burundian police General Godefroid Bizimana, told Anadolu Agency.
“Heavily armed unidentified gunmen attacked the army chief of staff’s car,” Bizimana said. “Fortunately, he escaped the attack unhurt.”
Following the incident, Burundian authorities blocked traffic on the road linking the country’s capital Bujumbura to Tanzania via Makamba and Rumonge in southern Burundi.
Since Burundi’s controversial presidential poll, the country has witnessed a spate of violent attacks – on both government officials and opposition figures – sparking fears of wider political conflict.
Only one week after Nkurunziza’s electoral victory in July, Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana – the country’s powerful spy chief and a Nkurunziza ally – was also killed in the capital.
And in mid-August, Col. Jean Bikomagu, Burundi’s former army chief-of-staff, was killed at his home by unidentified attackers.
According to local NGOs, at least 150 people – mostly opposition politicians but also Nkurunziza supporters – have been killed amid political turbulence that began in April when Nkurunziza announced his intention to run for a third term.
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