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 Two Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers in Bujumbura, March 19, 2014. Image: US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross

 

At least 15 people were burnt alive or shot dead in a horrific attack in central Burundi after armed men blocked off a road and started killing travelers, security sources said Sunday.

The ambush on Saturday night took place in Muramvya province, mirroring similar attacks staged here last year.

Armed men barricaded a road with boulders and sprayed bullets on vehicles. They also poured petrol and set alight two buses, burning the passengers alive in what one witness said were “scenes of horror.”

At least 13 people were torched alive and between two and five shot dead, witnesses and a local official said. A local official said 15 others were wounded, of whom six had serious injuries.

A security source told AFP on condition of anonymity that the toll was 17 as the “heavily-armed” attackers shot dead two others while fleeing. The source said at least four people had been arrested.

The interior ministry confirmed the 8:00 pm attack near the Munanira hill but did not provide a toll.

In early May, a similar ambush in the same area claimed at least 12 lives.

Civil society groups in exile blame such attacks on ethnic rivalry and infighting in the former Hutu rebel group Cndd-FDD, which is now in power. - AFP/The Defense Post

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