At least 11 schoolchildren have been arrested and placed in custody following protests by the kids over the arrest of fellow students for defacing a photo of President Pierre Nkurunziza.
Two people were also shot at and injured during the protests which witnessed the nabbing of 11 high school students in Muramvya, about 50km east of the capital Bujumbura, on Friday for “insulting the head of state.
“The children, six girls and five boys aged over 14, were placed in custody in Muramvya central prison in mid-afternoon,” an official said speaking on condition of anonymity.
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Following the arrests, hundreds of local students immediately rallied to demand the release of their colleagues, witnesses said.
The demonstrators, aged between 12 and 17, were marching on the highway between Bujumbura and Gitega.
“We were in the streets to ask for the release of our colleagues who were unjustly arrested, then some police officers who were in a pick-up vehicle of the intelligence office opened fire on us, a colleague was hurt by one bullet and was taken to hospital for treatment,” one student told the Reuters news agency.
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