Two police officers injured in Bujumbura grenade explosions

Police searching for weapons in Jabe, an opposition stronghold in the capital Bujumbura

Police searching for weapons in Jabe, an opposition stronghold in the capital Bujumbura

Two police officers have sustained injuries in grenade explosions and sporadic gunshots that rocked Jabe, Nyakabiga and Cibitoke neighborhoods in the Burundian capital Bujumbura for several hours Sunday night.

“Yesterday night, criminals tried to disrupt security in some parts of the capital by throwing grenades and firing rifles,” Pierre Nkurikiye, the police spokesperson said adding that the investigation has started to identify perpetrators.

Besides the two injured policemen, Nkurikiye said a car was torched, and a fire fighting attacked Sunday overnight.

He says a total of eight grenades were thrown, four in the central neighborhood of Jabe and another one in the neighboring Nyakabiga, while the other three exploded in the northern area Cibitoke.

Residents in these three areas were vehemently against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial third term bid.

Following the chaotic night, the Police have, all day Monday besieged Jabe, movement within the entire neighbourhood was restricted; no one was allowed to leave or enter the area as all roads were blocked.

“Since morning I haven’t eaten, children did not go to school, we haven’t reported to our work places. We are locked up in our houses, it’s terrible,” an area resident told Afrika Reporter via telephone.

Except health officers upon showing their ID cards, no one was allowed to access the area. Even journalists were barred from entering Jabe. Residents spent the entire day indoors as the police searched house to house looking for weapons and “bad elements.”

Although the police have not yet revealed the official results of the operation, reports indicate the police rounded up several people, mainly youths.

“I had gone to the market and when I was coming back home, I was arrested. I remained under arrest until late evening,” another resident told this website.

Police spokesman Nkurikiye says the purpose of the crackdown was to retrieve “weapons from the wrongs hands.”

Opposition and the international community have appealed to the government to disarm Imbonerakure militia youths that are infamous for torturing, harassing and killing protestors since the protests began in April.

However, residents claim the police and government are cracking down on opposition strongholds instead.

Despite the fact that President Nkurunziza has won the highly controversial July 21 poll and the third term, violence continues to rage as high profile government and opposition figures are being targeted and killed.