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Four policemen injured in grenade blast in Burundi capital   

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Four policemen were injured, two of them seriously, in a grenade explosion that targeted a police post in the Burundian capital Bujumbura Tuesday night, police said Wednesday.

“An unidentified person last night exploded a grenade in a police post at Bwiza around 21:00. The criminal was aboard a pick-up that drove away after the grenade blast. Four policemen were injured, but one of them had very small injuries and did not need to go to the hospital,” Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said.

According to him, two policemen seriously injured on their legs were rushed to hospital, another policeman left the hospital after treatment.

He blamed the attack which occurred in central Bujumbura on bandits who had been stealing cars or committing other crimes, but who were “unfortunately” released by jurisdictions.

“This grenade attack was a sort of retaliation against policemen based at Bwiza police post because they have been mercilessly arresting them,” Nkurikiye said.

Tuesday’s attack was just two days after another grenade attack in Kayanza of northern Burundi, which caused at least eight deaths and 50 injuries.

The central Africa country has a series of grenade attacks in recent months, while perpetrators of the attacks have not yet been identified or arrested.

Burundi has suffered turmoil since April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term, which he later won.

Opponents said the president’s move violates the constitution, and mounted waves of protests.

Since April 2015, more than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and some 410,000 people fled to neighboring countries, mostly Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo since the outbreak of the crisis.



Burundi to participate in world’s first robot Olympics due in U.S.

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundi will participate in the first-ever robot Olympics due in Washington DC in the United States on July 16 to 18, the coach of the Burundian team said Tuesday.

“Six secondary school pupils from Burundi and their coach will depart Burundi for the United States on Thursday to participate in the world’s first robot Olympics. Those pupils are aged between 15 and 18 years. It’s the first time in Burundi’s history to participate in such a championship,” said Canisius Bindaba, coach of the Burundian team.

According to him, the Burundian team will present a robot locally conceived and constructed.

“We hope that we will beat other competitors during the robot Olympics,” Bindaba said.

He added that the team was able to construct the robot thanks to an internet-based research with the support of their partners through instructions given in an online training provided by international coaches.

Bindaba said Burundian competitors in the world’s first robot Olympics are members of an organization called Great Lakes Initiatives for Communities Empowerment (GLICE Burundi).

According to him, the organization is going to deploy countrywide to train “big engineers” in robotics so that kids from their early age can conceive objects that can help them construct their country and generate employment.

Some 160 countries are expected to participate in the world’s first robot Olympics.


Burundi report progress in use of contraceptive methods to controls births

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- As the world Tuesday marked the World Population Day, the Burundian government is proud of the step reached on using contraceptive methods to controls births, the Burundian health minister said Tuesday in a statement.

“In collaboration with our partners like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), we were able to go from 2.7 percent of women using contraceptive methods in 2005 to 42 percent of women using such methods in 2017 in Burundi,” Burundian Public Health and AIDS Control Minister Josiane Nijimbere said in the statement.

She said the progress was made thanks to the Burundian government policy launched in 2006 of free medical care for pregnant women and children aged less than five years.

“This world population day is an opportunity to request Burundian people to reduce their fecundity speed. From Burundi’s independence in 1962 until now, the population has grown four times. As 90 percent of Burundian citizens live on agriculture, this is an obstacle to development for a small country,” Nijimbere said.

With a population estimated at over 11 million people, Burundi’s total area is 27,834 square kilometers.

She added that Burundi developed a policy on reducing the population growth since 2011, underlining that the policy eyes the reduction of the fecundity speed up to 2 percent by 2025.

“The policy also provides birth spacing and focuses on teaching young people about contraceptive methods as they are the country’s future,” said the minister.

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