Al Shabaab deny Burundian president's claim of planned attack

Mogadishu: The Somali Islamist group al Shabaab denied a claim by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on Sunday that they were plotting an attack against the country, calling the beleaguered president's claims a distraction from a political crisis in his country.

Nkurunziza, who has faced weeks of protests and an attempted ouster over his decision to seek a third term in office, made his first appearance in the Burundian capital in days to say he was "very preoccupied" by the threat posed by al Shabaab.

"We think that this is an attempt by him to appease his people, who are standing in the streets protesting against his dictatorship, or to divert the world's attention from him while he possibly prepares his mass revenge," al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mahamud Rage said in a statement to Reuters.