Burundi: three shot dead in gunfire,grenade explosion as police seize weapons in massive crackdown

Some of the military material seized in the searches

Some of the military material seized in the searches

Two people were shot dead and three others injured in a gunfire that erupted Sunday night in Musaga neighbourhood in the capital Bujumbura.

According to eye witnesses, the incident occurred at a nightclub when armed men in military uniforms forced their way in and shot at the victims.

A young university student and a vendor of small goods died instantly and at least three other people were injured in the attack.

Following the deadly incident the police swung into action Monday morning, mounting an intense crackdown in the area, and other parts of the capital especially opposition strongholds of Jabe, Cibitoke and Kinama searching for the suspected gunmen and weapons.

One police officer was injured in a grenade explosion that happened during the search

Jabe district in Muha Commune was besieged by heavily armed police and the Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said the massive operation was aimed at retrieving “weapons from the wrong hands”

This was the second major search carried out in the district of Jabe in less than a month. Earlier this month, the police launched a similar two-day operation, seizing no weapons but arresting around twenty people.

In a press conference held in Bujumbura, Nkurikiye displayed a stash of weapons and other military equipment seized in the simultaneous operations.


Police displaying weapons confiscated in the intense multi-area operation

Police displaying weapons confiscated in the intense multi-area operation

Among weapons and objects seized include three Short Machine guns, more than 1500 rounds of ammunition, grenades, military and police uniforms, and several other military and police materials.

Pierre Nkurikiye revealed the police had apprehended a man who confessed to belong to a criminal gang owning the captured weapons, and which was preparing to move them to a “neighbouring” country.

Meanwhile, a man belonging to the Imbonerakure militia was shot dead Monday morning by unknown gunmen in Kanyosha, a commune overlooking the capital Bujumbura.

The militant’s death comes a week after an opposition activist was gunned down in Isale Commune.

A week after President Pierre Nkurunziza and his government were sworn in, tension remains high in the Central African nation.

Protests against the president’s third term have been quelled and he was pronounced winner of the July 21 presidential poll but target killings and grenade explosions and gunfire are not letting up.

Regional leaders, the African Union and the international community including US and UN have urged leaders in Burundi to resume dialogue and resolve their differences to end the 5-month devastating conflict that was ignited by the ruling party’s decision to nominate Nkurunziza for the third term.