Burundi grenade explosions kill 4 as election nears

Protestors have accused the police of employing brutal tactics as they try to disperse them. Police have frequently fired at protestors.

Protestors have accused the police of employing brutal tactics as they try to disperse them. Police have frequently fired at protestors.

Four people have been confirmed dead and 30 wounded in a series of grenade attacks in Burundi, one week before communal and parliamentary elections.

The four people died in the Sunday night attack at a bar in President Pierre Nkurunziza’s hometown of Ngozi, north of the capital Bujumbura. This attack also injured 27.

Another attack in the capital injured a police officer injured a police officer while an explosion at a bank in Kirundo town wounded one woman.

The Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye told Reuters “there is a police investigation and two suspects have been arrested in Ngozi,”

Police are still trying to establish the motive of the deadly attacks.

These attacks come after a similar attack on a police station in Musaga area of the capital Bujumbura wounded a police officer  Friday night. That same night several grenade attacks rocked the a number of Bujumbura suburbs injuring 11 police officers, this according to the Police.

The government is blaming these attacks on opposition activists but the opposition have denied any involvement.

These attacks are again shaking the country that has seen violent protests since end of April after President Nkurunziza announced he was running for a third term.

The political violence in Burundi has so far claimed more than 70 people and injured hundreds, according to Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, the Chairman of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH).

More than 100 thousand Burundians have fled the conflict to neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.

Elsewhere in the western province of Bubanza, four people were abducted by unknown gunmen who Sunday night around 8pm near their homes in Gihanga Commune.

While their whereabouts remain unknown, unconfirmed reports say they might have been taken to the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, crossing the natural reserve of Rukoko.

Reports indicate kidnappers will demand  ransom of 10 million each to release them. It’s not the first time such an incident occurs in that commune. In January, February and March, six people were kidnapped and released after paying six figure ransom.