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Last updateMar, 27 Jan 2015 11am

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Security: Authorities break up 51 armed gangs in 3 months

Bujumbura, Burundi - Burundi's security services broke up 51 criminal gangs and seized huge quantities of arms, ammunition and explosives across the county over the last three months, security forces told PANA in Bujumbura, the capital.

Altogether, 56 rifles of various calibres, 685 grenades and 485 ammunitions were seized from individuals who used them to settle scores with enemies or in armed robberies, said the spokesperson of the Burundi’s presidency, Léonidas Hatungimana, at the end of the quarterly meeting with the country’s senior administrative, security and judicial officials, presided over by President Pierre Nkurunziza.

He said that “good citizens” have voluntarily got rid of 77 light and small calibre weapons, 56 grenades and 9,000 ammunitions within the framework of the national civilian disarmament programme.

The past years of civil war in Burundi were used as pretext for several citizens to possess arm for self-defence.

In another development, 112 visitors without valid papers, were sent back to their countries, particularly Rwandans, over the past three months following raids on places occupied by foreigners, said Mr Hatungimana.

On drug trafficking, at least 3,000 hemp plants were destroyed and 361 kilogrammes and 1,120 drug balls seized.

The meeting discussed global security problems while Burundi senior political and security authorities described internal security situation as good.

PANA reports that the meeting did not tackle the recent armed attacks against several military positions of Rukoko, a natural reserve on the outskirts in North-West Bujumbura.

A rebel movement claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Pana 07/08/2014