The leader of a Burundi opposition party was killed Saturday by unknown assailants in the nation’s capital, Bujumbura, local media reported.
Iwacu, a prominent news organization in Burundi, reported on its website that opposition leader, Zedi Feruzi of the UPD-Zigamibanga party was slain late Saturday in a drive-by shooting in which at least one of his bodyguards was also killed.
Feruzi was outside his house when a car approached and its occupants sprayed him with bullets, according to Iwacu.
His killing, which took place in Bujumbura’s Ngangara district, is likely to raise tensions in this Central African country that has been hit by political unrest since the announcement late last month that President Pierre Nkurunziza would seek another term in office.
The U.N. secretary-general condemned the killing and said it threatens to “entrench mistrust and trigger further violence,” a statement from Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman said.
There have been almost daily street protests in Bujumbura over Nkurunziza’s third-term bid, a decision that also sparked a failed move by some senior military officers to oust the president.
At least 20 people have died and 431 people have been wounded in street protests against the president’s decision to run in the elections scheduled for June 26.
Protesters say Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term is illegal because the constitution only allows for two five-year terms, and some protesters are vowing to stay on the streets until Nkurunziza rescinds his decision to seek a third term. Read more