Two coordinated attacks on military bases in Burundi have left dozens dead during the early morning hours of Friday, December 11.
The attacks were carried out at the ISCAM Higher Institute of Military Training in Musaga south of the capital city of Bujumbura and a military base in Ngagara, north of the city.
Fighting began at approximately four in the morning.
Gunfire could be heard within Bujumbura for several hours after the initial attacks.
An officer in Burundi told the AFP news agency about the attacks: “After more than two hours of clashes, the army repulsed the southern attack, while virtually all the attackers were killed in Ngagara base. There are dozens of deaths among the attackers, and we also have losses,”
The exact number of casualties resulting from the attacks in unclear. Several foreign embassies and the United Nations have issued warnings to their employees to stay indoors.
“All bridges are under army control and no movement is being permitted from one area to another,” another military officer said, as quoted by the AFP.
The violence of Friday, December 11, is reported to be the heaviest in Burundi since an attempted military coup in May of 2015.
Officials within the Burundian government have blamed the violence on insurgents.
The situation in Burundi has caused concern in Kenya within recent months as the two are both a part of the East African Community (EAC).
President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for the situation within Burundi to be resolved.
Uhuru had a talk with Burundi members of parliament at State House on Saturday, September 5, 2015.
The President said of the unrest in Burundi: “The region’s interest is to have a peaceful Burundi because we cannot let you go back to the violence which you have gone through before,”