- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2020

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) - Rwanda’s military said Saturday that three of its soldiers were wounded in an attack carried out by unidentified gunmen from neighboring Burundi.

The attack Friday night targeted the Rwanda Defense Forces’ defensive position in the southern district of Nyaruguru, 1 kilometers (0.62 miles) from the border with Burundi, army spokesman Innocent Munyengango said.

He said the attackers clashed with the army then fled back toward the border, leaving behind four of their dead and military equipment including weapons and radios.

“The attacking force originated and retreated back to Burundi through Burundi Defense Force position at Gihisi in Bukinanyana commune, Cibitoke Province,” the army said in a statement.

It added that “we reassure Rwandans that action will be taken against those responsible.”

Burundi’s defense forces in a statement noted the reported attack and said that “Burundian soil cannot be a sanctuary for armed elements who disturb the security of neighboring countries.”

Burundi’s government has previously rejected accusations by Rwanda. The last such attack by gunmen from Burundi left two people dead in 2018 in the same district.

Munyengango said the attackers’ intention this time was to harm people inside a model village for internally displaced people, which is protected by the defense forces.

Relations between Rwanda and Burundi have been strained over allegations by Burundi’s government that rebels opposed to it are being trained and armed in Rwanda, which denies it.

The people of Burundi and Rwanda now wait to see whether Burundi’s new President Evariste Ndayishimiye and his government will facilitate new talks.

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