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Grenade kills and injures 58 in Burundi

On Sunday, July 9th 2017, a unidentified person threw a grenade into a crowd of people in a bar in Kayanza Province, northern Burundi. The blast killed eight people and injured 50.

Four of the victims died instantly, whilst the other four succumbed to their injuries overnight. The injured were evacuated to local hospitals.

An investigation to identify the attacker is under way.

The blast is reported to have targeted a director of Kayanza’s coffee washing stations, Claude Nzambimana, who was unharmed in the attack.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records the harm caused by explosive violence across the globe according to English-language media sources.

In recent years, the number of reported grenade attacks has spiked in Burundi. Since 2015, AOAV has recorded 43 grenade attacks in Burundi. These have caused 383 deaths and injuries, of which civilians account for 87%. 97% of the civilian casualties have occurred in populated areas – with bars presenting a common target.

Though the ease of access and use of grenades has been a concern in Burundi for a long time, the spike in violence occurred since April 2015, when the president, Pierre Nkurunziza, said he would run for a third term in office. He was re-elected in July 2015, though the voting was largely boycotted by the opposition.

It is estimated that 400,000 Burundians have so far been displaced by the fighting between Nkurunziza’s backers and his opponents.

AOAV strongly condemn all use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.