50 rebels reported killed


NAIROBI - The Burundian army said yesterday its troops had killed 50 Hutu rebels in fighting south of the capital, Bujumbura, last Friday, in which two of its soldiers were also killed.

More than 150,000 people have been killed in massacres and civil war between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi-dominated army since the killing of Burundi's first freely elected Hutu president in October 1993.

Burundi's Minister of the Interior and Public Security meanwhile released a list of eight people arrested accused of involvement in a plot to assassinate the military ruler, Gen Pierre Buyoya. Burundian radio named five of them as members or officials in the Parena party, which is led by the former military ruler Gen Jean-Baptiste Bagaza. Two others were Burundian soldiers and the last was a Rwandan army deserter, state-run Burundi radio said.

Gen Bagaza, a leading hardline Tutsi critic of Buyoya, has been under house arrest since January. Gen Buyoya ousted Gen Bagaza from power in 1987 and last July seized power in an army coup from a Hutu civilian president.