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Police: 6 injured in Rwanda grenade attack

January 28, 2014

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — A grenade blast in a northern Rwandan town wounded at least six people, two of them critically, police said, blaming the attack on rebel forces believed to have bases in eastern Congo.

Two men on a motorcycle hurled a grenade at people near a bus stop before speeding away, regional police spokesman Emmanuel Hitayezu said Tuesday.

The attack happened Monday night near the Rwandan Police College in Musanze district, said Hitayezu. It is likely that anti-government rebels who operate in neighboring Congo were behind the attack, he said.

The grenade attack is the second in Musanze this month. Unknown people on Jan. 6 lobbed a grenade into the home of the town’s mayor, killing a baby in that attack.

“We are still investigating the incident and the people behind it, but we highly suspect these are elements linked to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda,” said Hitayezu, referring to the rebel group best known as FDLR, which is mostly made up of perpetrators of the 1994 Rwanda genocide who fled across the border and took refuge in the jungles of eastern Congo.

Rwanda has recently had a series of grenade blasts that authorities often blame on dissident groups. Some of the grenade attacks have targeted the capital, Kigali. Last September two people were killed and dozens wounded in two simultaneous grenade blasts there.

Rwanda’s government often blames exiled former allies of President Paul Kagame for staging the attacks in alliance with FLDR. The dissidents deny the accusations.

The latest attack came as trial started on Tuesday of 16 people, including a former Kagame bodyguard, who are charged with crimes such as terrorism.

Prosecutors say the suspects worked with dissident groups allied with the FDLR to plan attacks inside Rwanda.

Critics of Rwanda’s government say those who challenge the president often face harassment and politically-motivated criminal charges.

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