Special Reports

Burundi military bases hit with coordinated attacks


"Heavily armed men" attacked a base at Ngagara in the north of the Burundi capital Bujumbura and a military training college in the south, according to a senior military officer (AFP Photo/Phil Moore)

Heavily-armed gunmen launched coordinated assaults on three army barracks in the Burundian capital on Friday leaving at least a dozen dead in the worst unrest since a failed May coup.

Army spokesman Colonel Gaspard Baratuza claimed that 12 attackers were killed and 21 captured while five soldiers were wounded, following the early morning assaults on a base at Ngagara and a military training college in the capital, as well as another base at Mujejuru, 40 kilometres (25 miles) outside the city.

Baratuza said the attackers aimed "to stock up on weapons and ammunition".

"The army has defeated them seriously," the spokesman said, while Bujumbura residents reported continuing gunfire into the afternoon.

Clashes continued throughout the day in different parts of the capital with witnesses describing heavy firing, including artillery, lasting several hours at the military locations.

Friday's firefights are the heaviest since a failed coup in May, sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term, which he later won in disputed elections in July.

Months of street protests have devolved into regular armed attacks with gunfire disrupting the nights and dead bodies appearing on city streets almost every day.

Attacks on security forces have escalated with frequent ambushes of police convoys by rebels armed with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars aimed at government installations.

Eight months of unrest has claimed the lives of at least 240 people so far while more than 200,000 have left for neighbouring countries, according to the UN.

Click here to read the full Yahoo News/AFP report.

#PoliticsViolence #PoliticalViolence #Burundi

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