Burundi Presidency Says Armed Opposition Attacked Military Bases

An armed opposition group attacked military bases in the capital, Bujumbura, on Thursday night, the presidency said after gunfire and explosions were heard across the city.

“The Sindumuja tried to attack military camps but they failed,” Willy Nyamitwe, a spokesman for President Pierre Nkurunziza, said in a statement on his Twitter account. “The goal of the Sindumuja was to release prisoners in Mpimba” prison in Bujumbura, he said.

The gunfire and explosions began at about 4 a.m., Claude Nahimana, a resident of the city, said by phone Friday morning.

At least 277 people have died in Burundi since April in violence sparked by Nkurunziza’s decision to serve a third term in office. 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.

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