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Protests Against Burundi President Resume


A policeman walks away after throwing a teargas canister during a protest against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza and his bid for a third term in Bujumbura, Burundi, June 2, 2015.

A policeman walks away after throwing a teargas canister during a protest against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza and his bid for a third term in Bujumbura, Burundi, June 2, 2015.

In Burundi's capital, protesters took to the streets again against President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term.

Scenes of unrest resumed on Tuesday morning in Bujumbura where police used teargas and live bullets to disband groups of protesters in several neighborhoods of the city.

As soon as the clashes erupted, bystanders and street vendors quickly ran to find shelter behind gate doors, observing the scene from a distance. Still, some got teargas canisters thrown in their backyard, among them, Eric.

"So now the police has decided to attack the population," he said. "They threw this teargas can in my yard... Can you imagine, there are mamas, and papas, and children in here."

In another neighborhood, tensions were also high. A car from the Red Cross made its way between the police and the protesters and took away several injured people, who said they were hit by live bullets from the police.

"Instead of protecting us," one man said, "the police kill us."

The renewed violence comes after East African leaders gathered in Tanzania last weekend to discuss the crisis in Burundi.

They urged the government to delay the elections planned this month, but the protesters say that the summit didn't address what they ask for: that President Nkurunziza not seek a third term.

Critics say a third term would violate a constitutional two-term limit, but supporters say it is allowed because he was elected by parliament, not voters, for his first five-year term in 2005.

The spokeperson of the government told journalists on Sunday that the presidency is favorable to postponing the elections but has yet to make an official statement and give new dates.

Parliamentary elections were originally meant to take place this Friday, and the presidential election, three weeks later.

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