26 people killed by armed men in the northwest

[Updated] Burundi: 26 people killed by armed men in the northwestAn armed group has killed 26 people in northwest Burundi, the security minister said Saturday, days ahead of a constitutional referendum that could see President Pierre Nkurunziza rule until 2034.

 The attack came as tensions rise days ahead of a constitutional referendum on May 17 which could allow Nkurunziza to stay in power for 16 more years.

 Witnesses told AFP of an hours-long orgy of violence that began around 10:00pm (2000 GMT) on Friday in a village in Cibitoke province bordering Congo and Rwanda.

 “These criminals went house to house and committed real carnage,” said a local official speaking on condition of anonymity. He said he was “horrified” by the violence.

 “Some of the victims were stabbed, others were shot, there is even a whole family that was burned alive in their home.”

 “For now, these criminals have not been identified, but an investigation is underway to determine their identity,” said a police officer, who did not want to be named.

 Alain Guillaume Bunyoni said that the attackers were “terrorists” from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

 “The terrorists coming from and returning to Congo shot and burned: 26 dead and seven wounded,” the minister said in a statement.

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