Burundi table tennis players cleared over suspect meetings

2018-04-11 16:43

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Burundi police have released 21 members of a table tennis club, who had been arrested over suspicious meetings several times a week, a close friend of the team said on Tuesday.

"It is a great relief, the SNR (National Intelligence Services) finally realised it was really a table tennis club ... and that they were training for an upcoming regional tournament," the source said on condition of anonymity.

A police source confirmed the players had been released on Monday night a few hours after their arrest.

Government critics took to Twitter to slam the "paranoia" of Burundian authorities.

Police spokesperson Pierre Nkurikiye had announced the arrest of the 21 people including "an army officer, two police officers, a retired army officer and civilians."

"The population alerted security forces that people were often meeting at this house and that they had plans to disrupt security," he said.

The incident comes in the run-up to a constitutional referendum on May 17 that could keep President Pierre Nkurunziza in power until 2034.

Nkurunziza ran for a third five-year term and was re-elected in 2015 despite a two-term limit under the constitution, triggering violence that left at least 1 200 people dead and sent more than 400,000 Burundians fleeing abroad.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.