At least nine civilians and one policeman were killed on Tuesday in clashes between police and bandits in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, police sources said on Wednesday.
“Seven civilians, including criminals, were killed in an operation to free three policemen who had been abducted by those criminals at Ngagara Section 3. One of the abducted policemen was shot dead by the criminals, the other one was seriously injured and the third one managed to run away unharmed,” Burundian Police deputy spokesperson Pierre Nkurikiye said at a press conference, Xinhua reported.
He indicated that two other corpses of civilians were discovered on Wednesday in Ngagara near the place where the incident took place.
Nkurikiye added that some military equipment was seized in Ngagara in an arms search operation held Wednesday morning.
According to him, those seized arms include an unexploded bomb, three grenades, two chargers full of ammunition and a military uniform.
Ngagara is one of the capital’s neighbourhoods where protests against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term bid took place at the end of April.
Police agents have been complaining that they are the target of grenade attacks and gunfire in neighbourhoods that staged protests against President Nkurunziza’s third term bid.
The east African nation has been facing unrest triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s successful bid to win a third term in office, a move opponents said was against the law and the terms of a peace deal that ended a 13-year civil war in 2006.
In August, local rights groups reported that at least 100 people were killed in waves of violence since the beginning of those protests.
Nkurunziza won a controversial election on July 21 that was boycotted by main opposition candidates.