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Burundi Rebels Attack Neighborhood

February 14, 2001

BUTERERE, Burundi (AP) _ In the latest violence in Burundi’s 7-year civil war, more than 200 rebels attacked a neighborhood in the central African nation’s capital on Wednesday, killing two people, burning a military post and looting 50 homes, witnesses said.

The rebels killed one soldier and a 17-year-old boy and wounded a second soldier during the attack on the Buterere II area late Tuesday night, officials said. They also stole money, clothes, goats and chickens, residents said.

The mother of the teen-ager, who spoke on condition she not be named, said it was too dark to see the attackers clearly, but members of a multiethnic group that patrols the neighborhood said the attackers were Hutu rebels.

Burundi’s civil war began in October 1993 when minority Tutsi paratroopers assassinated the country’s first democratically elected president, Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu, triggering a Hutu rebellion. More than 200,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in attacks by both sides.

Despite international mediation efforts, the Tutsi government and the Hutu rebels have been unable to agree on a cease-fire.

The chief of the Guardians of Peace for the Buterere zone, Bernard Bagirimbereka, confirmed that one civilian and one soldier were killed, and that there signs of rebel casualties.

``As we retraced their steps, we did see traces of blood which clearly show there were either some wounded or killed,″ he said.

This attack coincided with a visit by Emmanuel Mbi, the World Bank Director of Operations for the Central, Southern and Great Lakes regions of Africa. He arrived Tuesday to discuss World Bank projects in Burundi.

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