SHAFAQNA – Three protesters were Monday shot dead and 45 others injured when police used tear gas and live ammunition against demonstrators opposed to Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term.
The protests have entered their second week.
“Two protesters died on the spot and another one later died at the hospital in clashes that opposed demonstrators in Musaga and Nyakabiga neighborhoods. 45 other protesters were injured, many of them seriously,” Burundi Red Cross Spokesman Alexis Manirakiza told Xinhua.
In a related story, Burundian National Police Spokesman Liboire Bakundukize told a press briefing that at least 15 policemen were injured in a grenade explosion at Musaga neighborhood.
“Protesters fired a grenade against police agents who were countering protesters, injuring 15 police agents,” said Burundian National Police Spokesman Liboire Bakundukize.
According to Bakundukize, police agents “have the right to defend” themselves and will not always accept “provocation”.
He indicated that a house belonging to a police officer was burned by protesters at Musaga neighborhood.
While protests took place in few neighborhoods last week, more protests were reported in most neighborhoods in the capital Bujumbura.
For the first time, dozens of protesters reached Bujumbura city center, but were dispersed while attempting to reach the Independence Square.
In the city center alone, seven protesters were captured and beaten before they were taken into a police truck.
In the southern neighborhood of Kinindo, police agents used live ammunition to disperse demonstrators that had barricaded the main road, injuring two of them.
Another three protesters were seriously injured when they were shot by police agents at River Ntahangwa Bridge on the November 28 Boulevard.
Protests were also reported in some districts in the province of Bujumbura Rural.