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Burundi Rebel Chief Shot, Killed in DRC

Burundian security forces inspect scene of shooting at a bar in Gatumba, Bujumbura-rural, Sept. 2011 (file photo).

A Burundian rebel leader blamed for organizing last year's deadly attack on a bar that killed 36 people is dead.

Burundian Army Colonel Kabisa Domitien told reporters Friday that the rebel chief, known by the names "Carmel" and "Mukono," was killed in a shootout with government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said Carmel was killed Wednesday and that the DRC handed over his body Thursday.

Officials in Burundi had blamed Carmel for organizing the attack on a bar in Gatumba. The assailants burst into the establishment, ordered patrons to the ground and began shooting.

Officials had said the attackers were believed to have crossed the Congolese border about five kilometers from Gatumba.

Burundi enjoyed a brief period of peace after a main rebel group, the Forces for National Liberation (FNL), laid down its arms in 2009 after 20 years of insurgency. But violence has been increasing since opposition lawmakers boycotted the country's elections in 2010.

Burundian human rights groups estimate there have been as many as 300 such killings.

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch released an 81-page report saying scores of people have been killed throughout the country since the controversial elections. The report blames both state security forces and members of the opposition for the violence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.