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Fighting breaks out in Burundi capital after gunmen attack military sites

Gunmen have launched an attack on military sites in the capital of Burundi, killing several. The assault comes amid growing turmoil surrounding the president's successful but contested bid for another term in office.

Several people were killed after the attackers launched coordinated assaults on two military sites in Bujumbura, a further case of violence following the president's disputed re-election in July.

Fighting was reported early Friday morning at a military base in Ngagara, north of the city, as well as at a military training campus in the south. Burundi's army reportedly managed to repel the attacks, killing most of the attackers in the process.

According to one soldier who spoke to Reuters news agency, at least two security personnel and five attackers were killed in the fighting. The AFP news agency, meanwhile, reported that "dozens" had been killed, without specifiying who the victims were.

Clashes continue

Burundi has seen a steady level of violence over the past several months, following President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to scrap constitutional term limits and run for what many considered a third term as leader. Nkurunziza, arguing a technicality of the wording of the constitution, claimed it was to be only his second "elected" term, having come to power in a coup. He won the elections in July, amid an opposition boycott and severe unrest.

Most of the fighting has occurred between loyalists to Nkurunziza and rebels seeking to oust him. Many of the rebels are thought to be supporters of Godefroid Niyombare, a general who launched a coup against Nkurunziza earlier in the year.

blc/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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