Four killed in Burundi bar after police weapon raids

Soldiers guard a polling station in the Musaga neighborhood of Bujumbura on the day of Presidential elections in Burundi on July 21, 2015 (AFP Photo/Carl de Souza)

Nairobi (AFP) - Gunmen killed four men in a bar in Burundi's capital Bujumbura, police said Wednesday, in the latest of a string of killings after the controversial reelection of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

"Unidentified gunmen entered and shot them," a police spokesman, Pierre Nkurikiye, told AFP.

Residents of Musaga, a largely opposition district where the killings took place late on Tuesday, said the men were accused of being police informers.

The killings followed police raids in Musaga earlier on Tuesday in which "a large quantity" of guns were seized, Nkurikiye said, adding "witnesses said that these people had been accused of having informed the police."

Violence erupted in Burundi in April when Nkurunziza launched his now successful but controversial bid for a third term in power, despite weeks of protests and a failed coup against him.

Nkurunziza must be still formally sworn into power before an August 26 deadline.

African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Sunday called for "utmost restraint" by all sides, warning of potential "catastrophic consequences" for troubled Burundi and the wider region if rivals do not resolve political differences peacefully.

Last week gunmen shot dead Colonel Jean Bikomagu, a key figure in the former Tutsi-dominated army.

Last month, top general Adolphe Nshimirimana -- widely seen as the country's de-facto internal security chief -- was killed in a rocket attack.

The day after the general's killing, civil rights activist Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, who had repeatedly accused Nshimirimana of ordering the deaths of government opponents, was himself wounded in an assassination attempt.

The opposition and international community claimed a third term violated the Arusha accords that had brought the 1993-2006 civil war to an end.