BUJUMBURA, Burundi — Burundi police on Wednesday battled hundreds of protesters, killing an army soldier and wounding at least one other in continuing unrest over the president's bid for a third term in office.
Amid the unrest, President Pierre Nkurunziza postponed parliamentary elections for a week from May 26 until June 5.
The soldier was part of a group of army troops trying to stop the police from firing at protesters who were throwing stones in the Nyakabinga neighborhood of Bujumbura, the capital, Capt. Dismas Nduwamungu told The Associated Press. The soldier was hit in the chest and died and another soldier was wounded in the leg, he said.
When the soldier died the policemen from the unit that was firing on the protesters ran to their car and drove off, Nduwamungu said. The incident is being investigated, said the presidential adviser for media Willy Nyamitwe.
In the capital's Musaga neighborhood, a senior police officer was seen pushing forward his juniors, who seemed reluctant to move toward the hail of stones thrown by protesters.
The parliamentary elections were delayed in response to requests by the international community and many political actors in Burundi, Nkurunziza said in a speech on state radio.
Nkurunziza said only an insignificant part of the capital is experiencing unrest while the rest of Burundi is peaceful.
He said that "99.99 percent of the territory is in peace ... In Burundi we have 119 communes but the protests are only in four communes in Bujumbura," he said. He called on the demonstrators to stop.
The weeks of unrest in the capital, boiled over last week when an army general announced a coup which was crushed within 48 hours by army forces loyal to the president.
The army has remained largely neutral in the street battles between the police and protesters.
Protesters say Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in the June 26 presidential election is illegal because the constitution only allows two five-year terms. Nkurunziza maintains he can run for a third term because parliament elected him for his first one.