Three bodies found in Burundi 'mass grave'

2016-02-29 22:34
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Nairobi - Three bodies have been found in a "mass grave" in an anti-government stronghold in a northwest area of Burundi's capital Bujumbura, the city mayor's told AFP on Monday.

A suspect has told investigators that "about 30" people had been buried there after being killed for supporting the government, he added.

Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa, who blamed the massacre on anti-government activists, reported the finding the same day the UN said it was sending a team of human rights investigators to Burundi to look into allegations of rights violations during the country's 10-month long crisis.

Mbonimpa, who was appointed by President Pierre Nkurunziza, said that "acting on information from the public we found today on Mutakura's 9th avenue a mass grave where we discovered three bodies in bags."

Several journalists were on the scene when the bodies were found.

Burundi has been in crisis since Nkurunziza's controversial decision last April to run for a third term, which he won in an election in July.

Violence has become routine since, with more than 400 people killed and nearly quarter of a million leaving the country.

Mbonimpa said that one of the alleged killers was arrested and "told us that there were about 30 bodies in the grave."

"The murderer said they buried people there who had been killed for supporting a third term" for Nkurunziza or who had refused to join an insurgency against him.

He slammed Amnesty International for accusing the government and security forces in January of burying opponents in mass graves.

Amnesty International had issued satellite images to show that there were at least six mass graves in the Bujumbura area following a crackdown against opposition strongholds in the capital, ordered in reprisal for rebel attacks on military bases in December.

The government had denied the allegations.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa

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