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Burundi police shoot at students during a protest

By on June 4, 2016

Police in Burundi shot and wounded a student and a taxi-driver on Friday during a protestby schoolchildren against the arrest of their colleagues for defacing President Pierre Nkurunziza’s portrait.

The incident took place in Muramvya province, about 50 km (30 miles) east of the capital Bujumbura. The schoolchildren, aged between 12 and 17 years old, were marching on the highway between Bujumbura and Gitega.

A police officer, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the student and the taxi driver had been shot.

Five students had spoiled Nkurunziza’s photo in a book, a school administrator said.

More than 300 students of a school in the capital’s Ruziba neighbourhood were sent home for the same reason, two weeks ago.

Burundi has been mired in a year-long crisis in which more than 450 people have been killed since Nkurunziza pursued and won a third term. Opponents said his move violated the constitution and a deal that ended a civil war in 2005.

Nkurunziza’s camp says a court ruling had declared the former rebel-turned-president eligible to seek another term.

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