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Burundi army kills 13 rebels, peace talks delayed

Written by: Staff
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BUJUMBURA, July 7 (Reuters) Burundi's army today said it killed 13 insurgents from the tiny central African country's last remaining rebel group as peace talks stalled in Tanzania.

Security forces fought Hutu rebels from the Forces for National Liberation (FLN) late yesterday in Muberure, a rural area near the capital, said army spokesman Adolphe Manirakiza.

He added that one government soldier was also killed.

''We got information about the presence of 21 FNL rebels at Muberure and we sent our troops there. They managed to kill 13 FNL rebels and eight succeeded in escaping,'' he said.

The FNL was not immediately available for comment.

The rebels and government this week postponed for eight days peace talks in neighbouring Tanzania.

South African chief mediator Charles Nqakula said there was need for more discussion between the two sides before talks could resume.

But he added that the FNL dropped an earlier demand for the dissolution of the Burundi army.

Peace talks between the rebels and the government are seen as one of the last hurdles for peace and stability in Burundi, where some 300,000 people died in more than a decade of civil war since 1993.

The conflict pitted majority Hutus against the politically and economically dominant Tutsis.

REUTERS SI PM1812

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