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Hutu Rebels Blamed for Killing 18

June 29, 1999

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) _ Suspected Hutu rebels ambushed a bus and set it on fire outside of Burundi’s capital, killing 18 passengers, survivors charged Monday.

The ambush occurred Saturday about 12 miles outside Bujumbura. The survivors spoke on condition of anonymity.

More than 200,000 people have been killed since Burundi’s first democratically elected president, a Hutu, was assassinated by Tutsi paratroopers in 1993, plunging the central African nation into a cycle of ethnic violence.

Most of the victims have been civilians, caught between the Tutsi military and the Hutu rebels.

Peace talks between Tutsis and Hutus, which have been going on for nearly a year, are scheduled to resume next month in Tanzania.

Although they are a minority, Tutsis have run Burundi for all but four months since independence from Belgium in 1962.

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