Bujumbura has seen widespread protests since the president said he would stand for a third term

Bujumbura has seen widespread protests since the president said he would stand for a third term

Police in Burundi’s capital have opened fire on a big crowd of protesters in unrest over the president’s re-election bid, witnesses say. They used tear gas and live ammunition on some several hundred protesters in the centre of Bujumbura – the closest they have got to the presidency.

Burundi has seen weeks of protests over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to stand for a third term in office.

Mr Nkurunziza is heading to Tanzania for a summit on the crisis.

He will hold talks with other East African heads of state on how to end the violence.

Meanwhile, Burundi’s influential Catholic Church has called for the elections in June to be postponed.

It said in a statement that it would ask Catholics on the electoral commission to step down if the government refused to yield.

More than 20 people have been killed and scores wounded since Mr Nkurunziza announced at the end of April he would stand again in next month’s elections.

The 51-year-old argues that he is entitled to run for a third term because he was first appointed to the role by parliament in 2005.

The constitution states a president should govern only for two terms, but earlier this month a court upheld Mr Nkurunziza’s interpretation.-BBC