Burundi Army Repels Attacks on Bases in Worst Violence Since May

  • Military spokesman says its forces killed, captured gunmen
  • Raids follow months of violence that have killed 277 people

Burundi’s army said it repelled attacks on military barracks in the capital, Bujumbura, in the city’s worst violence since a failed coup in May.

At least 12 gunmen were killed and 20 were captured, army spokesman Colonel Gaspard Baratuza said on national radio. Five army officers were wounded, he said. The violence in the capital forced two airlines to cancel Friday’s flights to the city, officials said, with one carrier saying there had been a security incident at the airport.

"The unidentified militants struck the camps early Friday, with plans to seize ammunition and free detainees in the capital’s prisons,” Baratuza said. “The assailants lost a lot and those who escaped from arrest are being searched for.”

President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term in office has sparked violence since April that has left 277 people dead and opposition forces to call for international help to block his re-election. Nkurunziza’s opponents say his July re-election violates a two-term limit set out in the accords that ended a civil war in the country 10 years ago. In May, forces loyal to Nkurunziza put down an attempted coup.

MAP: Burundi

The country’s Council of Ministers convened an emergency meeting on Friday morning to discuss the attacks, AFP reported. Kenya Airways and Rwandair canceled its flights to Bujumbura on Friday, according to spokesman for the companies.

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