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Soldier Fatally Shot in Latest Burundi Protests

  • VOA News

Police chase demonstrators in the Musaga neighborhood of Bujumbura, Burundi, May 20, 2015.

Police chase demonstrators in the Musaga neighborhood of Bujumbura, Burundi, May 20, 2015.

One soldier was shot dead in Burundi's capital Wednesday as police clashed with protesters demanding that President Pierre Nkurunziza not run for a third term.

A Burundian army captain told The Associated Press the soldier was with troops who were trying to stop the police from firing at stone-throwing demonstrators.

The clash occurred as Nkurunziza signed a decree delaying parliamentary and local elections until June 5. There is no word on whether the commission will delay the presidential election scheduled for June 26.

African leaders have called on the president to postpone the election because of mounting unrest.

At least 20 people have died in three weeks of clashes between security forces and protesters. Authorities put down a coup attempt against Nkurunziza last week.

The attempt was launched while the president was in Tanzania for a regional conference on Burundi's political situation.

The opposition says a third term would violate the constitution, but the president and his supporters say he is eligible to run again because he was elected in 2005 to his first term by parliament instead of voters.

The unrest has raised fears Burundi could slip back into chaos. The Central African country endured a 13-year civil war ending in 2006 that killed an estimated 300,000 people.

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