FIVE Burundi government officials have been killed by unidentified assailants since Sunday, police said, a sign of rising insecurity after President Pierre Nkurunziza won re-election in the face of political opposition.
“We have realised that people from institutions are being targeted by these unknown murderers” in the capital, Bujumbura, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said late Wednesday in a televised statement.
Armed men wearing security forces uniforms are behind the attacks and police are investigating their identities, he said. Nkurikiye said the toll included General Adolphe Nshimirimana, the country’s former head of intelligence and an adviser to Nkurunziza, who was killed on Aug. 2.
He didn’t give details on any of the other casualties. However, on Tuesday a local leader of the country’s ruling party was killed.
According to Jean Bosco Ndarubayemwo, the leader of the party’s feared youth militia Imbonerakure, Come Harerimana was shot dead while riding his motorcycle near Bujumbura.
Other members of the governing CNDD-FDD have been the target of recent attacks in the area, said Ndarubayemwo, without elaborating. It was not clear if Harerimana was among the killed officials spokesman Nkurikiye was referring to.
Burundi has been in turmoil since April when Nkurunziza announced he would seek another term, sparking street protests and clashes with security forces that left at least 77 people dead and drove another 180,000 across the border.
The United Nations, U.S. and other countries have said the elections won by Nkurunziza last month weren’t credible.