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Burundi to set up massacres inquiry

BUJUMBURA (Reuter) - Burundi yesterday reported fresh ethnic killings and fighting and the government launched an inquiry into reports of a massacre of hundreds of Hutu civilians last week.

State-run Burundi radio said 20 Hutu villagers were killed at Muhanga in the northern province of Kayanza on Tuesday in reprisal for the killing of six members of a Tutsi family.

The government said it was setting up a commission of inquiry to establish whether Burundi troops killed more than 450 Hutus at sites in north-east Muyinga province last week. The US Ambassador to Burundi, Robert Krueger, as well as an aid worker and villagers, have said troops of the Tutsi- dominated army and Tutsi gunmen were responsible for the slaughter. The army has said only some 20 Hutu gunmen and civilian hostages held by the gunmen were killed in clashes with troops.

Residents of Kizi village said on Tuesday they had buried 201 bodies and said many more were still lying in the bush. Foreign journalists have seen several graves at one site.