BUJUMBURA, Burundi - Armed men from Congo burst into a pub in the central African nation of Burundi and killed 36 people, an official said yesterday.
Burundi, a tiny nation still reeling from a civil war that killed some 250,000 people, is awash in weapons but attacks like the one Sunday night are rare. Still, the region borders eastern Congo, which is racked by violence from myriad rebel groups.
Bujumbura’s provincial governor, Jacques Minani, said the attackers targeted the pub in Gatumba, west of Burundi’s capital, after crossing the river from Congo.
Survivor Jackson Kabura, who was shot in the stomach, said the men entered wearing military fatigues. “One of them said, ‘Kill them all, kill them all. Make sure there’s no survivors,’ ’’ he said.
Congo’s military spokesman, Colonel Sylvain Ekenge, said officials were astonished by reports that the attackers were believed to be from his country.
He said the perpetrators are more likely to be rebels from Burundi’s last rebel army, the Forces for National Liberation. He said Congolese forces had captured some of the Burundian fighters in Congo several months ago.
“It is they who often attack Gatumba and its surroundings, even if Burundian authorities call them bandits,’’ he said.