Burundi claims Rwanda backing rebels behind grenade blasts

Nairobi. Burundi on Saturday accused its northern neighbour Rwanda of coaching and arming rebels blamed for twin grenade assaults that wounded 38 individuals the day gone by.

Relations between the East African international locations have typically been tempestuous and Rwanda has beforehand denied claims it backs the rebels.

The inside ministry mentioned RED-Tabara insurgents — accused of a string of assaults in Burundi — threw a grenade at a packed bus cease in the principle metropolis of Bujumbura at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Friday.

“Thirty-eight individuals have been injured, 5 of them significantly,” the ministry’s spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye instructed reporters.

“There have been no deaths,” he mentioned, however police sources and witnesses instructed AFP at the very least three individuals had been killed.

In a simultaneous assault close to a petroleum station within the northern Ngagara district, solely the attacker was wounded, Nkurikiye mentioned, including that he was swiftly arrested.

Nkurikiye, who was talking on the Nationwide Intelligence Service headquarters in Bujumbura, paraded six suspects accused of being behind 4 assaults since April.

“These terrorists have been recruited, skilled and even geared up with weapons in Rwanda and by Rwanda,” he mentioned, citing their investigations.

“Afterwards, they’re despatched to the RED-Tabara terrorist group to be near Burundi’s borders, after which they enter the nation to hold out assaults,” Nkurikiye mentioned.

The RED-Tabara emerged in 2011 and has a base within the japanese Democratic Republic of Congo province of South Kivu.

Burundi has repeatedly accused Rwanda of backing the rebels — a declare denied by the Rwandan authorities and RED-Tabara.

RED-Tabara is accused of waging lethal violence in Burundi since 2015 however had not been energetic there since September 2021, when it carried out a number of assaults, together with on the airport in Bujumbura.

It’s now probably the most energetic of Burundi’s insurgent forces with an estimated 500 to 800 fighters.

Burundi closed its border with Rwanda in 2015 amid mutual claims of supporting insurgent teams.

The border was reopened in 2022.

In January 2024, Burundi mentioned it had closed the border once more after a insurgent assault that killed 20 individuals, together with girls and kids.

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