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Burundi President Nkurunziza faces attempted coup

from BBC

A coup attempt has been launched in Burundi to try to overthrow President Pierre Nkurunziza, amid unrest over his bid to be re-elected to a third term.

Thousands of people in the capital, Bujumbura, celebrated the announcement by Major General Godefroid Niyombare.
But the coup outcome is far from clear.

The presidency says the coup has been foiled and the perpetrators will be brought to justice. Mr Nkurunziza has now left a summit in Tanzania and is reportedly trying to return to Burundi.

Gen Niyombare said in a radio address he had ordered "the closure of the airport and border, and I ask every citizen and law enforcement down to the airport to protect it".

Mr Nkurunziza had been meeting regional leaders to discuss the crisis. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said the summit condemned the coup.

A statement from the Burundi presidency said: "It is with regret that we have learned that a group from the armed forces mutinied this morning and declared an imaginary coup.

"This coup attempt has been foiled and that these people, who read the coup announcement on the radio, are being hunted by defence and security forces so that they can be brought to justice."

A presidential spokesman said Mr Nkurunziza would address the nation on his return and was not afraid.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all parties to exercise restraint.

Prison raid

The BBC's Maud Jullien in Bujumbura says thousands of protesters marched to the city centre alongside soldiers and two tanks after the coup was announced.

Police shot at the soldiers and the crowd. At least two protesters were killed.

 


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