Burundi: Seven Killed in Shootings, Grenade Attack
Seven people have been killed in the latest spate of shootings in Burundi, involving another grenade attack on police officers.
The incident took place in the Ngagara neighbourhood, which is a known stronghold for opposition supporters, in Burundi’s capital city, Bujumbura. Local residents have allegedly told reporters that two police officers have been killed, while a television cameraman and his family were among the dead.
Cameraman killed with his family
Locals have identified the cameraman as Christophe Nkezabahizi, who worked for a state-run media station, claiming he was shot dead with his family by police.
“Police found him (Christophe) with his whole family at home (and) killed him alongside other people who were fleeing shootings,” one neighbour told Reuters.
A police spokesman later confirmed the death of Nkezabahizi in a radio broadcast, also citing the death of one police officer and five “criminals,” but he failed to mention Nkezabahizi’s family.
Another grenade attack on police
Two police officers were also killed in a grenade attack, according to local residents, although it’s not yet clear how this relates to the killing of cameraman Nkezabahizi and his family.
One resident claimed that two officers had been killed in the grenade blast and their colleagues opened fire on the attackers in retaliation. So far, no reports have revealed how this led police officers to track Nkezabahizi to his family home and kill him, along with his loved ones.
Grenade and rocket attacks targeting police and government figures have become increasingly common in Burundi, as national security in the country spirals out of control. Violence has escalated since President Nkurunziza announced plans to run for a third term in power – an election he went on to win.
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