Burundi: 12 Deaths Confirmed in Ambush

At least twelve people including a senior army officer have been confirmed dead, while several others were wounded after an ambush on vehicles in Central Burundi, Burundi.

The police had on Sunday evening reported the victims of the ambush as an “armed robbery on four vehicles” in Muramvya, a town located about fifty kilometers northeast of the economic capital Bujumbura to be eight.

However, by Monday, an investigation with several sources by AFP confirmed the death toll at 12.

“Ten people were killed on the spot and two others, including a little girl, succumbed to their injuries,” said an administrative source on condition of anonymity.

“There are eleven bodies in the Muramvya morgue and a twelfth body, a woman who died while being transferred to a hospital in Bujumbura, is in a morgue there,” a medical source also said.

A dozen people were also injured, according to this medical source and witnesses.

Also confirming the sad incident, Burundian President, Evariste Ndayishimiye tweeted on Monday, “We are saddened to see Burundi lose its children once again because of bandits. All criminals must be put out of action.”

The senior army officer has been confirmed to be Colonel Onesphore Nizigiyimana, and according to an administrative source and his relatives, one of his daughters was among the victims. He was returning from a family celebration with his wife and three daughters when the attack took place.

“The ambush was carried out four kilometers from the center of Muramvya by a dozen heavily armed men who shot at the colonel’s car when it arrived there, then set it on fire. The colonel and one of his daughters were burned to death in their vehicle,” said the administrative source.

Meanwhile, three other vehicles, including a bus, arrived at the scene and were also attacked with guns and grenades.

“People are in shock because it was a real military operation,” a Muramvya resident told AFP on condition of anonymity, “This group then retreated into the Kibira forest after looting everything they could.”

Such ambushes are increasingly common in Burundi. At least a dozen people were killed in several such attacks in late 2020.

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