December 4, 2015 / 2:01 PM / 3 years ago

Three killed in failed attack on senior Burundi police officer

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Police in Burundi said they shot dead three attackers and arrested three others on Friday when they foiled an attempt to ambush and assassinate a top police officer in the capital.

Bujumbura police chief Domitien Niyonkuru said the attackers were wearing police uniforms, and weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and rifles were recovered.

Burundi, which emerged from a 12-year civil war a decade ago, began spiraling into chaos in April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term, sparking months of protests and a failed coup. Civil society groups say more than 240 people have been killed since then.

Niyonkuru said the foiled attack had targeted a car belonging to Christophe Manirambona, the head of the police bureau responsible for special units.

“Fortunately he was not in his car and those who were inside are safe,” Niyonkuru said.

Thomas Perriello, the U.S. Special Envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region, said on Thursday that Burundi is “facing a real possibility of civil war,” though there is still “a window, no matter how small, to get a peace process going.”

Writing by Duncan Miriri

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