A senior Burundian army officer accused of leading a crackdown on opposition forces was shot dead on Tuesday at the army headquarters.
Lieutenant Colonel Darius Ikurakure, was shot by an assassin who was dressed in military uniform.
#Burundi After the killing of Lt Col Ikurakure in what appears to be an inside job, an army major & a police officer also shot dead tonight— iBurundi (@iburundi) March 22, 2016
Following the incident, Burundi’s Army spokesperson major Clement Cimana said the criminal managed to escape but the weapon had been recovered. He also called for unity in the army.
“We condemn this despicable act and urge all military members to remain calm and united. We should resist any form of manipulation aimed to destroy the national defense force,” he said.
Ikurakure was seen as close to president Pierre Nkurunziza, with whom he fought as a rebel during the civil war that ended in 2005.
Opponents accused him of being behind arbitrary arrests and killings in some areas of Bujumbura over the past year.
Burundi’s government said it only arrests those behind violence, and dismisses accusations of extra-judicial killings.
Burundi has been rocked by unrest that has killed more than 440 people since Nkurunziza decided in April, to stand for a third term in the face of popular opposition.