Africa: Burundi deaths rise to 284

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The Independent Online
Troops were still combing the area around Burundi's Bujumbura airport yesterday as the death toll in a bloody rebel attack on Thursday rose to at least 284.

Army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mamert Sinarinzi said that the dead included 180 civilians, 100 rebels and four Burundi army soldiers. An estimated 1,000 Hutu rebels launched the dawn attack near the village of Rukaramu, a few kilometres north of Bujumbura, the most daring assault on the Burundi capital since military ruler Pierre Buyoya seized power in an army coup in July 1996.

The attackers appeared to be part of a broader alliance of Burundian and Rwandan Hutu rebel groups, but most of the dead were former Rwandan army soldiers, Lt-Col Sinarinzi said. - Reuters, Nairobi