World Bulletin/News Desk
Burundi's army killed 95 attackers from an unidentified group based in neighbouring Congo that wants to move across the border and launch ambushes to try to disrupt this year's elections, a spokesman said on Monday.
Colonel Gaspard Baratuza, citing documents found during the week-long fighting, said the group planned to set up a base in the Kibira forest in northern Burundi, from where it would mount the attacks.
Burundi is due to hold parliamentary and local elections on May 26, followed by an election to pick the president on June 26 and another to elect the senate on July 17.
A number of armed groups, remnants of past conflicts in the region, inhabit the jungles of eastern Congo, but this group has so far not been identified. The army says it believes it is Burundian because members spoke the local Kirundi language.
The army captured nine of the attackers but the prisoners had so far refused to reveal the group they belonged to or their motives, Baratuza said.
"The fighting ended, but the group which attacked is yet to be identified and its claims are not yet known," he told a news conference.
Baratuza said two soldiers and two civilians were also killed in the fighting in the western province of Cibitoke on the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.
The votes have already stirred controversy in a region that has sometimes struggled to achieve peaceful handovers of power.
The ruling coalition and its opponents are locked in a row over whether President Pierre Nkurunziza can run for office for a third term. He is widely expected to make another bid but has yet to say whether he will run.
Separately, the Congolese government in Kinshasa said on Friday it was ready to launch military operations to flush out Rwandan Hutu rebels known as FDLR from the eastern border zone after they missed a deadline to disarm and return home or go into exile.Last Mod: 05 Ocak 2015, 15:34