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Six killed as Burundi awaits parliamentary poll results

Burundi's wait for parliamentary election results has been marred by at least six deaths. Police say they have seized "many, many" weapons as sporadic gunfire wracked the capital Bujumbura.

Wednesday's clashes took place in the city's Cibitoke district, a center of opposition protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza and his disputed bid for a third term on July 15.

Police said five of those killed Wednesday were "criminals." Residents said police shot persons who had "their hands in the air" during house-to-house searches.

Polices spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said "many, many" guns and grenades had been seized. Four other people had been arrested.

Cibitoke was sealed off Wednesday. A reporter for the French news agency AFP who entered later said a moneychanger and his two sons had been shot in the head.

Police said an armed group had been "neutralized" after a patrol was attacked, allegedly with a grenade. The sixth person killed was a policeman.

The incidents bring to about 80 the number of people killed in two months of protest across Burundi.

Burundi Bujumbura Unabhängigkeitstag Unruhen

Burundi's Independence day went ahead despite unrest

Independence day

Elsewhere in the capital Wednesday, military parades were staged to mark Burundi's independence day.

Burundi's electoral commission CENI said results of

Monday's parliamentary poll

would be announced by Thursday.

It claimed there had been an "enormous" turnout, despite many polling stations appearing quiet. Monday's poll had been boycotted by the opposition.

Doubts abroad

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had earlier

urged that the voting be delayed

amid Burundi's worst crisis since the end of its civil war nine years ago.

Opponents of Nkurunziza 's bid for another term say it is unconstitutional and violates a peace accord that help end civil war in 2006.

Nkurunziza said later Tuesday that Monday's elections "had passed off very well."

The presidential poll is due on July 15, followed by senatorial elections on July 24.

ipj/gsw (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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