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Iran Press TV

Burundi military bases attacked, dozens killed: Sources

Iran Press TV

Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:41AM

Gunmen have launched coordinated attacks on two army barracks in Burundi's capital of Bujumbura, with dozens of people killed, witnesses and military sources say.

According to a senior military officer, the fighting erupted early Friday at about 4:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT), when 'heavily armed men' assaulted a base at Ngagara in the city's north and the ISCAM Higher Institute of Military Training in Musaga in the south.

Military official said the army managed to fend off the attack on the southern site and almost all the assailants were killed at the Ngagara base.

'There are dozens of deaths among the attackers, and we also have losses,'

Other media reports have quoted sources as saying that two soldiers and five attackers were killed in the clashes. They also said three military sites came under attack.

Willy Nyamitwe, media advisor to the president of Burundi, meanwhile, confirmed the attacks in a message posted on Twitter early on Friday, saying, 'Tonight the #Sindumuja tried to attack military camps but they failed.' Sindumuja, which means, 'I am not a slave,' is a name sometimes used for rebels.

'Situation is returning to normal as firearms are seized, many Sindumuja assailants killed or arrested,' the tweet read.

Gunfire could still be heard in several neighborhoods of the city on Friday morning while no one was in the streets as residents chose to stay home.

'I am holed up in the corridor of my house with my wife and children,' said Eric, a resident of Musaga. 'Pray for us because we will die!'

Hundreds of people have been killed as tens of thousands have fled Burundi since protests began in April against President Pierre Nkurunziza's ultimately successful quest for a third term.

Nkurunziza won the controversial election in July. His third term has widely been censured as unconstitutional by the country's opposition.

The opposition says the move runs counter to the constitution, which only allows two successive terms, as well as the 2000 Arusha Agreement that paved the way for ending the civil war in the country.

The African country also saw a failed coup in May sparked by Nkurunziza's bid for a third term.

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