Gunmen kill 20+ in Burundi attack

2011-09-19 07:38
Bujumbura - Armed raiders killed more than 20 people and injured some 20 others when they stormed a Burundi bar and opened fire on patrons, a regional official told AFP on Monday.

"The death toll is still unclear, but according to the first reports that I received, there are between 24 and 30 dead and around 20 injured, some of them in a critical state," said Vianney Mutabazi, the administrator of the region where the attack occurred on Sunday night.

The attackers raided a bar in Gatumba area, some 13km west of the capital Bujumbura, which lies in a stronghold of the former National Liberation Forces (FNL) rebels, whose leader Agathon Rwasa has been accused of being behind a recent spate of attacks.

Mutabazi said that up to 16 people were killed on the spot and several others died of their injuries while being taken to hospital.

Witnesses said the attack lasted about 20 minutes before the assailants took off.

"Those who attacked us are not just bandits. They are fighters, rebels. I swear because I saw them," said one wounded victim who did not want to be identified.

"Dozens of people, some in [military] uniform and with Kalashnikov [rifles] and grenades entered 'Chez les Amis' bar. They told everyone to lie down and began shooting," one survivor who lost two siblings and a friend said.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa
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