KAMPALA: The leader of an 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 Zedi Feruzi of the UPD-Zigamibanga party was slain late Saturday in a drive-by shooting in which two of his bodyguards were also killed.
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.
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 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.
Nkurunziza maintains he can run for a third term because parliament _ not the people _ elected him for his first term.
Amid the unrest, the international community has been urging Nkurunziza to delay the elections.
More than 200,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring countries, citing fears over political violence. Many of them have sought refuge in unsanitary refugee camps in Tanzania, where they also face a cholera outbreak in which more than 30 people have died in recent days.