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Gunmen break into Burundi UN Human Rights Office

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FILE - Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza arrives for the celebrations to mark Burundi's 55th anniversary of independence at the Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura, Burundi, July 1, 2017.

FILE – Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza arrives for the celebrations to mark Burundi’s 55th anniversary of independence at the Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura, Burundi, July 1, 2017.

A group of armed men broke into the compound of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, early Wednesday.

The incident occurred a week after a U.N. commission of inquiry reported possible crimes against humanity in Burundi, including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, torture, sexual violence and enforced disappearances.

The country has been in a state of political turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for and won a controversial third term in 2015.

There was no immediate word on damage or casualties from the break-in.

The armed men forced their way into the U.N. compound after overpowering security officers, according to a reporter for VOA’s Central Africa Service.

Elizabeth Throssell, a media officer for the U.N. human rights office in Geneva, described the incident as an “attack” on the Bujumbura office.

“It is being investigated and we are not in a position to give any more information until the investigation is complete,” she said in a statement.

Speaking to VOA, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said police had not received reports or a complaint about the incident.

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