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Burundi has denied hosting armed groups after attack in Rwanda

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- The Burundi army Monday denied hosting armed groups that attack neighboring countries, responding to the report on the killing of two Rwandan nationals early Sunday by an armed group that allegedly retreated into Burundi.

"No armed group was yesterday seen crossing the common border between Burundi and Rwanda," Burundian Army Spokesman Gaspard Baratuza told Xinhua on Monday.

Baratuza emphasized that Burundi would never hide criminals that commit crimes in neighboring countries.

He said Burundian defense and security forces would continue to ensure security on common borders and maintain good relationships with neighboring countries.

On Sunday, the Rwandan army reported that an armed group killed two persons and injured another one at Bugarama in Rusizi district, western Rwanda, before retreating to the Burundian territory.

Relations between Burundi and Rwanda have been cold since April 2015, when Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that ended a decade-long civil war.

Burundi has accused Rwanda of hosting Burundian citizens who staged a failed coup plot on May 13, 2015 and of providing military training to people who are destabilizing Burundi. Rwanda has always denied the allegations.

In recent months, at least six Burundian nationals were killed by Rwandan soldiers after the Rwandan army accused them of illicitly entering the Rwandan territory from Burundi’s Cibitoke and Kirundo provinces.

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