Burundi crisis: President Nkurunziza plays football as two protesters die in demonstrations

Protesters say it is illegal for President Pierre Nkurunziza to serve a third term

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The Independent Online

As protesters in Burundi continue to voice their anger against the government in the wake of an attempted coup, the President has been photographed playing football with his friends.

Two protesters were killed and 13 people were injured on Thursday, as crowds gathered despite the fact President Pierre Nkurunziza has banned demonstrations.

A protester from the capital's Ngagara neighborhood was shot dead and another was killed in the Musaga district, Red Cross spokesman Alexis Manirakiza said.

As many as 20 people in total have died and 431 have been wounded since the protests began almost a month ago, when Mr Nkurunziza announced he wanted a third term. 

Protesters are arguing that Mr Nkurunziza's attempt to clinch a third term in the presidential election is illegal, as the constitution only allows for two five-year terms.

In the face of protests, the president maintains he can run for a third term because he was appointed by the parliament, not by a vote, in his first term.  

And Mr Nkurunziza appeared indifferent to the unrest on Thursday, as he was photographed enjoying a game of football with his friends in the capital, where one of the protesters was allegedly shot dead by police.

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Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza controls a ball in the capital (Image: Reuters)

Mr Nkurunziza is a qualified football coach who runs a team called Hallelujah FC, where matches are combined with evangelical prayer sessions, BBC News reported.

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Protesters say that it would be illegal for the president to serve a third term (Image: Reuters)

Last week, Mr Nkurunziza survived an attempted coup, prompting him to issue a decree on Tuesday postponing parliamentary election from 26 May until 5 June.

Additional reporting AP

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