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At least 30 Burundian refugees die in clashes with Congolese security forces

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Updated: 04:30 GMT, Sep 18, 2017 | Published: 04:15 GMT, Sep 17, 2017 |
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At least 30 Burundian refugees have been killed in clashes with Congolese security forces over plans to send some of them home, a Reuters witness and local activists said on Saturday (September 16).

Police and soldiers opened fire as the refugees protested over the plan in the town of Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday (September 15), the activists said.

More than 400,000 refugees have fled Burundi – including 40,000 to neighbouring Congo – since violence erupted in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term in office, a move his opponents said was unconstitutional.

Reuters TV crew filmed more than 30 bodies covered by sheets on the roadside in Kamanyola, with many more wounded also lying in the street.

The violence in Burundi has killed over 700 people and a U.N. commission said last week there were reasonable grounds to believe authorities had committed crimes against humanity. The government rejected the commission’s findings as “propaganda”.

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