6 killed in attack on Burundi army chief

Burundi's president has urged the African nation's military to stay united after a failed assassination attempt against the army chief.

6 killed in attack on Burundi army chief

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Burundian army spokesman on Saturday clarified the death toll from a Friday rocket attack on the country’s army chief-of-staff from which the latter escaped unharmed, saying that three soldiers, two attackers and a civilian were killed in the incident.

According to army spokesman Gaspard Baratuza, another six soldiers were injured in Friday’s attack, which occurred in capital Bujumbura.

“Three Kalashnikovs, a machine gun and RPG launchers were seized” in subsequent operations, Baratuza, speaking at a Saturday press conference, said.

Army Chief-of-Staff Gen. Prime Niyongabo escaped Friday’s attack, which took place at 7am local time (0500 GMT) as he was on his way to his office, Godefroid Bizimana, deputy director-general of the Burundian police, told Anadolu Agency.

Following the incident, the authorities blocked traffic on the road linking capital Bujumbura to Tanzania via Makamba and Rumonge in the country’s south.

Since a controversial presidential poll in July, Burundi has witnessed a spate of violent attacks – on both government officials and opposition figures – sparking fears of wider political conflict.

Only one week after incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term in office, Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana – the country’s powerful spy chief and a Nkurunziza ally – was killed in the capital.

And in mid-August, Col. Jean Bikomagu, a 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 in office.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Eylül 2015, 15:58