It’s the second assault in two weeks by the RED-Tabara rebels, who’ve been largely inactive inside Burundi since 2021.
Gunmen have killed a minimum of 20 individuals and wounded 9 others close to Burundi’s western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an official has instructed reporters.
These killed within the Friday night raid in town of Vugizo included 12 youngsters, two pregnant girls and a police officer, authorities spokesperson Jérôme Niyonzima mentioned on Saturday.
The assault was claimed by the RED-Tabara insurgent group, thought of a “terrorist” group by the Burundian authorities.
The assault focused 9 properties within the city, near the Lake Tanganyika border with the DRC. At the very least 9 others wounded within the assault have been hospitalised.
The RED-Tabara insurgent group, which has been battling Burundi’s authorities from bases within the japanese DRC since 2015, claimed on the social media platform X to have killed 9 troopers and one police officer.
The group denied having focused civilians.
Native residents mentioned they heard sounds of gunfire and explosions through the assault.
Witnesses who spoke to the Related Press mentioned the rebels gave the impression to be carrying Burundian Military uniforms and civilians have been “left to their very own units” after the navy and police fled.
“We realised they have been attackers after they attacked the police place guarding the border,” mentioned Priscille Kanyange, a farmer.
“Many individuals right here have been injured by bullets [as they were] making an attempt to flee.”
One other farmer, Harmless Hajayandi, who witnessed the assault, mentioned safety forces fled, “leaving the residents to their very own units”.
André Kabura, a grocery store proprietor who was wounded in each legs within the gunfire, mentioned the navy and police have been gradual to regroup and fend off the attackers.
Two navy and safety sources instructed the AFP information company the assault focused “a navy place”.
“The civilians have been caught within the crossfire and have been killed, after which the assailants retreated to DRC,” a senior navy official instructed the AFP on situation of anonymity, confirming the toll of 20.
The assault was the second in as many weeks inside Burundi by the rebels, who haven’t been lively contained in the nation since September 2021, after they carried out a sequence of assaults, together with on the Bujumbura airport.
Since then, their actions have been happening within the DRC’s South Kivu province. However on December 11, they exchanged hearth with the navy in northwestern Burundi.
On Friday, Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye instructed military, police and intelligence officers to stay vigilant, warning that “the enemy by no means sleeps even when we’ve safety”.