Gunmen from Congo kill 36 in Burundi pub

Burundi, a tiny nation still reeling from a civil war that killed more than 2,50,000 people, is awash in weapons but attacks like the one Sunday night are rare. Still, the region borders eastern Congo, which is wracked by violence from a myriad of rebel groups.

Bujumbura province governor Jacques Minani said the attackers targeted the pub in Gatumba, west of Burundi’s capital, after crossing the river from Congo.

Survivor Jackson Kabura, who was shot in the stomach, said the men entered wearing military fatigues.

“One of them said, ‘kill them all, kill them all. Make sure there’s no survivors’,” he said.

Congolese military spokesman Col Sylvain Ekenge said officials were “astonished” by reports that the attackers were believed to be from his country.

He said the perpetrators are more likely to be rebels from Burundi’s last rebel army, the Forces for National Liberation. He said Congolese forces had captured some of the Burundian fighters in Congo several months ago.

“It is they who often attack Gatumba and its surroundings, even if Burundian authorities call them bandits, but in this forest there are (Burundian rebel) fighters,” he said.

For the past year there have been reports that the extremist Burundian Hutu group, led by Agathon Rwasa, is operating in eastern Congo and may be preparing for war in Burundi.

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