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Former Burundi minister Hafsa Mossi shot dead

A man cycles past the city center of Bujumbura, Burundi on May 15, 2015/XINHUA-File

A man cycles past the city center of Bujumbura, Burundi on May 15, 2015/XINHUA-File

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – Former Burundian government minister and spokeswoman Hafsa Mossi was shot dead in the capital Bujumbura on Wednesday, police said.

“Hon. Mossi assassinated 10.30 in Gihosha”, in the east of Bujumbura by, “two criminals in a vehicle,” police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said on Twitter.

Mossi was Burundi’s information minister and government spokeswoman between 2005-2007, and was, at the time of her death, a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, a regional parliament.

Mossi, a former journalist in her 50s, was a member of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s ruling CNDD-FDD party.

Nkurunziza’s controversial but ultimately successful bid for a third term last year triggered a deadly crisis that has killed more than 500 people and driven around 270,000 to leave the country.

Several senior military officers close to the president have been assassinated since the start of the crisis in April 2015, but Mossi, who was not regarded as a party hardliner, is the first senior politician to be killed.

Her murder is being investigated.

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