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Report: 60 Killed in Burundi Attack

April 19, 2002

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) _ Rebels attacked a camp for people fleeing the fighting in Burundi, killing at least 60 and wounding another 50, according to a private radio station on Thursday.

African Public Radio said the attack by rebels of the Forces for Defense of Democracy took place Wednesday night in Nyanza-Lac, about 80 miles south of the capital, Bujumbura, on Lake Tanganyika near the Tanzanian border.

The rebels, from the Burundi’s Hutu majority, have bases in Tanzania.

The radio, quoting its correspondent in Makamba, about 20 miles northeast of Nyanza-Lac, said the rebels returned to Tanzania by boat.

The attack couldn’t be independently confirmed. Army spokesman Col. Augustin Nzabampema said no attack occurred in that area on Wednesday, but it was possible that one could have taken place on Thursday.

Peter Nkurunziza, an official with Forces for Defense of Democracy, said none of his people had carried out such an attack, but he said it could have been the work of another FDD faction led by Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye.

At least 200,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the 8 1/2-year-war between the FDD rebels and others from the National Liberation Forces and government forces of the Tutsi minority.

The rebels are not party to an August 2000 peace agreement that led to the creation to power-sharing between Tutsi and Hutu parties and a transitional government that took office last November.

African mediators have been trying to arrange a cease-fire between the government of President Pierre Buyoya and the rebels to no avail.

International donors have pledged $840 million in desperately needed aid to Burundi but are reluctant to release it to the government without a cease-fire in place.

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