Bomb explosions rock Bujumbura, 2 people killed in the protests

Bystanders witnessing a bomb explosion in the center of Bujumbura today.Photo/Bernard Bankukira

Bystanders witnessing a bomb explosion in the center of Bujumbura today.Photo/Bernard Bankukira

Two people died today in Burundi during protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza’sbid for third term and an adult and a child were injured in the capital Bujumbura when a bomb exploded near Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) torching three vehicles around mid-day.

Later in the afternoon, another bomb explosion occurred at the main bus stop in downtown Bujumbura not far from the scene of the first explosion, injuring two more people and damaging passenger omnibuses.

Saidi Juma, the mayor of Bujumbura who rushed to the scene of first explosion said the incident had the hallmarks of a terrorist attack, aiming at preventing people to proceed with their daily activities in the capital. He however did not divulge any details about the attack other than assuring residents of security.

“We are going to sit with security officials to secure the city and its residents,” he told the press.

Meanwhile, protests against President Nkurunziza’s third term bid continued in various parts in and outside the capital Bujumbura.

In the north of the capital, police managed to clear one of the main roads barricaded since the breakout of the protests in April.

A teenager was gunned down in the morning by the police during an operation to disperse protesters using live bullets in Buterere neighborhood in the north of the capital. Several shops were destroyed by angry police, alleging that demonstrators had taken refuge inside.

Elsewhere, one person died trampled by protesters in Mukike commune, Bujumbura rural, when the military shot at demonstrators, injuring several of them.

Talks to end the turmoil that started on May 5 have been concluded, but still there was no clear resolution to end the current crisis.

In a press conference held today in Bujumbura, Saïd Djinit, the Facilitator of the talks and the UN Special Envoy to Bujumbura, said a big step has been made but still no agreement was reached on the root cause of the crisis in Burundi, President Nkurunziza’s third term candidacy and how to end the demonstrations.

Participants in the talks also discussed reopening of shut radio stations, delaying electoral calendar, securing and allowing opposition party leaders to conduct their campaigns, releasing protestors who are currently in jails among others.

Both sides, the government and organizers of the protests, agreed upon meeting once again after the extraordinary Summit of East African Heads of State this Sunday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where regional leaders are expected to tackle the current crisis in the Central African nation, still it’s not clear whether President Nkurunziza will attend.