Burundi security forces kill 2 suspected rebels, says Police Spokesman

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Bujumbura  –  A former military officer and policeman who were suspected of leading a group of rebels were killed on Wednesday in a shoot-out with security forces in the east of Bujumbura.

Pierre Nkurikiye the Police Spokesman, confirmed on Thursday in Bujumbura that Army Captain, Idi Bahenda-Saidi and Police Brigadier, Jean-Claude Niyongabo, were killed in the Muramvya province of Burundi, about 50 km (30 miles) east of Bujumbura.

He said police had sought to arrest the men, but they resisted, leading to a shoot-out.

Nkurikiye said weapons including an assault rifle and explosives were also seized from them.

Meanwhile, the oppositions said they believed Bahenda-Saidi was a member of FOREBU, a rebel group which was launched in December and led by another former senior army officer, Edouard Nshimirimana.

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The opponents of Nkurunziza accused him of violating the constitution and a peace deal that ended the 12-year civil war in 2005 by seeking a third mandate.

The loyalists cite a court ruling that said he could run.

Nkurunziza announced his bid for re-election in April and won a disputed vote in July after much of the opposition boycotted the polls.

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Western powers and regional states fear that an escalation in violence could turn a crisis that has so far largely followed political allegiances into a renewed ethnic conflict. (Reuters/NAN)

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