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Burundi awaits vote results after deadly clashes

By AFP | Published Thu, July 2nd 2015 at 12:19, Updated July 2nd 2015 at 12:23 GMT +3

Burundi awaited on Thursday the results of controversial elections boycotted by the opposition, with the capital calm a day after battles in which at least six people were shot dead.

More than 70 people have been killed in two months of protests and a failed coup attempt sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's defiant bid for a third term, with almost 144,000 refugees fleeing into neighbouring nations.

The elections were internationally condemned, including by the United Nations, African Union and European Union, while civil society groups backed the boycott calling on voters to skip the "sham elections".

Vote counting from Monday's polls has been completed at a local level, the election commission has said, but it remains unclear when final results would be announced. Nkurunziza's ruling CNDD-FDD party is expected to win a sweeping victory.

The capital appeared calm on Thursday, according to an AFP reporter.

On Wednesday, at least six people were killed, including a policeman, during clashes in the capital Bujumbura's Cibitoke district, an opposition area that has been one of the heartlands of protests against Nkurunziza.

Five of those killed Wednesday were members of an armed group who were "neutralised", police said.

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An AFP reporter who later entered the area after the shooting had ended saw the bodies of six people killed, including a moneychanger in his sixties and his two sons, shot in the head. All the dead were civilians.

Monday's voting kicked off a series of elections, with presidential polls due on July 15 followed by senatorial elections on July 24.

Opponents say Nkurunziza's bid for another term is unconstitutional and violates a peace accord that paved the way for the end of 13 years of civil war in 2006.

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