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Burundi opposition figure Zedi Feruzi assassinated

People have been holding protests against the President's plan to run for another term of office. Credit: Reuters/Eric Vidal

The head of an opposition party in Burundi, Zedi Feruzi, has been shot dead in the capital by gunmen, according to Reuters news agency.

Feruzi and his bodyguard was killed in the Ngagara district according to the head of the civil society group Ligue ITEKA, Anshere Nikoyagize. Residents said he was killed near his home.

"We heard a lot of gunfire," a neighbour of Feruzi told Reuters. "It's unfortunate because there were army soldiers here, and they didn't do anything."

Burundi is facing its deepest crisis since the end of an ethnically-fuelled civil war in 2005. The unrest was triggered by the President's decision to seek another five years in office.

The presidential election is due to be held on June 26th. Parliamentary and local council polls will now be held on June 5th, delayed by a little more than week.

Burundi police fire teargas and beat protesters amid unrest

Burundi police fired teargas at protesters who have demanded that President Pierre Nkurunziza end his bid for a third term, in a resurgence of unrest that has stoked fears of ethnic conflict in Africa's Great Lakes.

Protesters run as police fire tear gas. Credit: Reuters

Reuters said at least eight of the flag-waving and chanting demonstrators were dragged off by police. Some in the crowd responded by pelting officers with stones and rocks.

Policemen and soldiers walk on a street during a protest against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza. Credit: Reuters

Separately, shots were fired at the offices of the European Union's representative in Bujumbura, prompting the mission to demand the government step up its security. The EU gave no more details.

Burundi's President issues al Shabaab warning

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has made his first public appearance. Credit: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has made his first public appearance since an attempted coup last week failed to oust him and warned of the threat posed by Islamist militants from Somalia.

At a media conference Mr Nkurunziza did not directly address the crisis in his country, which started when he said planned to seek a third term in office, but said he was "very preoccupied" by the threat posed by the al-Qaeda linked militant group al Shabaab.

Burundi contributes forces to an African Union peacekeeping mission which has been battling al Shabaab in Somalia. In recent years, the group has attacked Kenya and Uganda, which also provide troops.

Meanwhile, a leader of a group of Burundian civil society groups, Vital Nshimirimana, said demonstrations against Mr Nkurunziza's proposed third term bid would resume on Monday.

In a statement he said: "We ask the international community to follow closely the situation in Burundi in order to stop the harsh reprisal against protesters, civil society activists and opposition leaders."

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