Elections-Related Clashes Leave 24 People Dead in Burundi

Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) -- At least 24 people were killed in clashes between Burundi police and unidentified militants in the outskirts of the commercial capital, Bujumbura.

It’s the latest flare up of violence in the coffee-producing East African nation that’s scheduled to hold general elections May 20. The United Nations warned in September that Burundi was on the verge of all-out violence as elections approach.

Opposition parties have complained of a rising number of attacks including assassinations of members ahead of the vote in which the National Congress for Liberty’s Agathon Rwasa plans to challenge the ruling party’s Evariste Ndayishimiye, a retired army general.

Security has been restored after the weekend attack in Rushubi, the security ministry’s spokesman, Pierre Nkurikiye, told reporters on Tuesday in Bujumbura. Two of the dead people were police officers, he said.

In November, Burundi accused Rwandan troops of attacking its military positions close to their shared border, an allegation the Rwandan army dismissed. Weeks earlier, gunmen belonging to the Burundi rebel group made up of former army officers crossed over from the Democratic Republic of Congo and ambushed security forces in a northwestern region.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Helen Nyambura in Nairobi at hnyambura@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gordon Bell at gbell16@bloomberg.net, Helen Nyambura, David Malingha

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