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Burundi says suspects in killing of general arrested

Policemen escort detained Burundi Army general Juvenal Niyungeko to a high court in Bujumbura, Burundi May 16, 2015. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Policemen escort detained Burundi Army general Juvenal Niyungeko to a high court in Bujumbura, Burundi May 16, 2015. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Burundi’s prosecutor on Sunday said the killers of a powerful general loyal to President Pierre Nkurunziza had been identified and “a certain number” had been arrested.

General Adolphe Nshimirimana, widely seen as Burundi’s de-facto internal security chief, was killed in a rocket attack on August 2.

He was a close aide of President Nkurunziza, whose successful bid for a third term has fuelled violence resulting in about a hundred deaths, a crackdown on protests and an exodus of citizens fleeing the country.

“The identities of the perpetrators are now known,” a statement issued by the prosecutor’s office said.

“A certain number have been arrested. The rest of them and the masterminds are being sought.”

It did not give further details. Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye confirmed the authenticity of the statement to AFP but did not elaborate.

The president had given the security forces a week to catch Nshimirimana’s killers.

The prosecutor said a military vehicle had been used by the killers and subsequently burned.

The vehicle had been identified and came from a military camp in the centre of the capital Bujumbura, it added.

According to witnesses quoted in the local media, the attackers were wearing military uniforms.

Nkurunziza’s candidacy was condemned as unconstitutional by the opposition and provoked months of protests.

In mid-May, rebel generals attempted a coup. They have since launched a rebellion in the north of the country, close to the border with Rwanda.

 



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