Two patrons were killed and four injured in an attack by an unidentified armed group on a pub in Gisozi commune, 50km east of the capital Bujumbura, in the centre of Burundi, on Thursday.
The attackers, wearing military uniforms, ordered all the clients to lie down on the floor and hand over all their valuables. They then opened fire, killing two of them before they ran away, said a witness.
National Police spokesperson Pierre Nkurikiye tweeted that one of the criminals had been shot dead by security forces in a firefight as the attackers retreated. He added that one of the AK47 assault rifles the men used in the attack had been recovered.
“Telephones and money were stolen,” he said.
The national police and the local administration had announced earlier on Thursday that they had caught 50 suspected rebels in Rumonge province, 65km from Bujumbura.
Rumonge authorities told reporters that the suspected rebels had been travelling in three buses heading to Bururi, the southern province where armed groups have conducted several attacks this year.
Bigirimana Juvenal, governor of Rumonge, said four AK47s, several grenades, more than 1 000 bullets, and about 160 security forces uniforms had been seized.
Bururi is less than 10km from Gisozi commune, where the attack on the pub happened.
Ten days ago, national public security minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni told reporters that over the past six months, his ministry had dismantled all the remaining insurgency networks in Mugamba commune in Bururi province, in Mwaro province in central Burundi, as well as in Bujumbura.
“We have also continued the programme of disarmament of illegal weapons holders in those regions,” he had added.
However, targeted killings have continued in Bujumbura and these provinces.
Two weeks ago, a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, Hafsa Mossi, was shot dead by an unidentified armed group near her residence in Bujumbura. Two days later, a Rwandan and a Congolese were also shot dead in the same neighbourhood.
– African News Agency (ANA)