Around 40 bodies, some with their hands tied behind their backs, were found Saturday across Burundi’s capital city. The majority of the deceased are believed to be young men.
One Bujumbura resident told Reuters that he the police round up some men after house-to-house searches on Friday. Although local police have been quick to deny such claims.
"They entered in our compounds, gathered all young and middle aged men, took them and killed them away from their homes," said one resident in Nyakabiga.
But police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said there were "no collateral victims" during Friday’s roundup.
The deaths come a day after unknown gunmen conducted early morning assaults on three military sites near the city.
According to the Burundian army 12 gunmen were killed and a further 21 were captured during Friday’s assaults by rebel forces. Army spokesman Colonel Gaspard Baratuza said five soldiers had also been wounded in the attacks.
However a senior army official reported "losses on both sides" without providing any more information
Burundi military personnel drive through the Musaga neighborhood of Bujumbura, Dec.11, 2015 | Photo: AFP
After the attacks UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, expressed his concern at "a further destabilization of the situation" while warned both sides "to refrain from any further escalation of violence or retaliation."
Burundi endured a brutal civil war from 1993 to 2005 where rebel groups of the Hutu majority, including one led by current President Pierre Nkurunziza, fought against what was then an army led by the Tutsi minority.
The U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva will hold a special talks on the situation in Burundi next Thursday.
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