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  • People celebrate with soldiers in Bujumbura, Burundi after the coup was announced.

    People celebrate with soldiers in Bujumbura, Burundi after the coup was announced. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 May 2015

Three army generals who attempted a coup against the Burundi President were arrested on Friday, according to government officials.

Three army generals who attempted a coup against the Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza were arrested Friday. The leader of the coup, Gen. Godefroid Niyombare is still on the run, however, according to presidential spokesman Gervais Abayeho via the BBC .

Hours earlier, Niyombare told AFP that he and his followers were going to surrender, adding, "I hope they won't kill us."

Defense Minister Gen. Cyrille Ndayirukiye was one of the three generals arrested Friday, according to Abayeho.

"If they are found to be among the coup leaders they will have to face justice," he said, adding that it was only a small section of the army that had rebelled, denying a division in the army.

Ndayirukiye announced on Thursday that the coup had failed.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Prime Niyongabo, an ally of the president, said Friday: "They had driven into the station [RTNB public television and radio station] using a military tank and we burnt it. We killed 12, 35 were injured, 40 surrendered, we arrested nine and four of our soldiers were injured."

"They had driven into the station [RTNB public television and radio station] using a military tank and we burnt it. We killed 12, 35 were injured, 40 surrendered, we arrested nine and four of our soldiers were injured."

The president, who was on an official visit to Tanzania when the general announced the coup, said that he was back in the country. He is expected to make a national address.

Five soldiers were killed Thursday in the country's capital Bujumbura during clashes between loyalists to the president and troops siding with the coup.

Niyombare’s coup attempt came after weeks of unrest in the country against the president’s bid for a third term in office, which protesters claim was unconstitutional.

RELATED: Africa Looks on as Burundi Faces 'Coup'

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