2 killed, more than a dozen injured in Burundi blasts

AP News
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Posted: Feb 15, 2016 11:00 AM

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — A series of grenade blasts in Burundi's capital killed least two people were killed and injured more than a dozen others Monday, witnesses said.

Two of the explosions happened in an open market in the Ngagara area of Bujumbura, killing the two. Two other grenades exploded in the center of Bujumbura, injuring 11 people. Another explosion was in the Buyenzi area, wounding at least three people.

The witnesses insisted on anonymity, citing concerns for their safety.

Although the witnesses said they saw two dead bodies, Security Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyonyi, who visited one of the blast scenes, said one was killed and 32 wounded.

Bujumbura has been plagued by violence since last April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term, which he won. Gunfire and loud explosions are frequently heard in the capital.

The U.N. estimates that more than 230,000 people have fled to neighboring countries since the street protests began and that 432 people have been killed in the unrest. Human rights activists blame government security forces for extrajudicial killings.

The African Union proposed deploying peacekeepers, but Burundi's government has said it would fight them as invaders.

In Brussels, European Union foreign ministers on Monday condemned the use of force in Burundi and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

A statement from their meeting said that the EU "stands ready to impose restrictive measures against those whose actions" might lead to violence and rights abuses.

But they said the EU will continue to provide humanitarian funding and called on Burundi's authorities to give safe and speedy access to aid workers.

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Ssuuna reported from Kigali, Rwanda. Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed.