BUJUMBURA, June 13 (Reuters) – Unidentified attackers detonated hand grenades in different areas of Burundi’s capital Bujumbura, wounding seven people, police said on Sunday, at the start of campaigning for a presidential poll later this month.
The attacks happened late on Saturday and mainly targeted hotels and pubs. “It is too early to confirm if the attacks are linked or not to politics,” police spokesman Pierre Channel Ntarabaganyi told reporters.
He said police were investigating reports that the attackers were using motorcycles.
The central African nation holds a presidential election on June 28, but six opposition candidates have withdrawn leaving incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza without a challenger. [ID:nLDE65405N]
The government barred the opposition parties from holding rallies, saying they had pulled out of the presidential poll.
Some 13 opposition parties have rejected the result of last month’s district poll, when the ruling CNDD-FDD won 64 percent of the vote. They have accused Burundi’s National Electoral Commission (CENI) of failing to prevent fraud during the May 24 vote and demanded a rerun.
CENI dismissed the call and said the presidential election would go ahead in spite of the boycott.
The elections are seen as a test of stability for the coffee-producing nation of 8 million people.
Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, is widely expected to win a second term. Burundi has enjoyed relative peace since the Forces for National Liberation, the last Hutu guerrilla group, agreed to lay down weapons and join the government last year. (Reporting by Patrick Nduwimana, editing by George Obulutsa and Janet Lawrence)