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Burundi church grenade explosion injures 8 in Bubanza province

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- At least eight persons were Saturday night injured in a grenade explosion at a church gathering at Muzinda in Bubanza province, 18km west of the Burundian capital Bujumbura, the local administration said Sunday.

"An unidentified man climbed over the roof of the church, silently removed an iron sheet and blasted a grenade inside a gathering in the church around 22:00 (20:00 GMT). Eight persons were injured, most of them seriously," the head of Muzinda zone, Anicet Niyonkuru, said.

According to him, the criminal ran away after blasting the grenade.

Niyonkuru indicated that the victims were rushed to hospitals in the Burundian capital Bujumbura.

He added that the church was "illegally" operating.

"The church pastor has been arrested for further investigations," Niyonkuru said.


Burundi government condemns assassination of environment minister

BUJUMBURA (Xinhua) -- The Burundian government on Monday condemned the assassination, early Sunday, of its environment minister.

"The Burundian government has learned with deep sorrow the disastrous assassination of Emmanuel Niyonkuru, minister for water, environment, territory planning and urbanization while he was going home in the early hours of Sunday," said Burundian Government Spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba in a statement.

According to him, the assassination of the minister is part of a "series of other killings targeting government officials" by criminals who opted for terrorism as their braveness conduct.

"The Burundian government condemns with its last energy those terrorists whether they are here inside the country or outside the country. We also condemn and denounce supporters of those terrorists," said Nzobonariba.

The government called for an investigation to identify the killers and to sanction them rigorously.

Born at Rutegama in Muramvya province, Emmanuel Niyonkuru, 54, was an economist and was the minister for water, environment and territory planning since August 2015.

From 1992 to 2015, he worked at the Burundi Central Bank.

Burundi is facing a political turmoil that broke out since April 2015 following the announcement by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would be seeking a third term.

Violence targeting senior leaders is again on the rise in the east African nation.



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