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Demonstrator shot dead as protest erupts outside Burundi capital

25 May 2015, 18:23

Bujumbura - A demonstrator was shot dead and two other wounded in southern Burundi on Monday, a local official and witness said, in one of the first confirmed reports of civil unrest erupting outside the capital Bujumbura.

The protester was killed when local police opened fire on a group of around a hundred demonstrators in Muyange in Bururi province, around 60 kilometres (38 miles) southeast of the capital, the sources said.

Civil unrest was also reported in Matana, further south in the same province.

Protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive term have been taking place in the small central African nation since late April, but the violence -- which has left at least 30 dead -- has largely been confined to the capital.

Also read: UN chief urges dialogue in Burundi after politician's murder

Nkurunziza has insisted that the unrest has only affected four districts of the capital, and that there is "peace and security in 99.9 percent of the country."

Some small, minor protests had been reported in rural areas of the nation in recent weeks, but far smaller and more sporadic in nature than in the capital.

Around 110,000 Burundians, however, have fled the country in fear of an outbreak of widespread unrest, including 70,000 to neighbouring Tanzania.

Opposition and rights groups say that Nkurunziza's bid for a third five-year term violates the constitution as well as the terms of a peace deal that ended a 13-year civil war in 2006.



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