Violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters continue in Burundi, and the opposition has boycotted talks to resolve the stand-off.

Rights groups say at least 20 people have been killed by police since protests erupted in late April against President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term.

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A masked protester walks on a street in Bujumbura during a protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third termGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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Anti-government protesters stand around a man accused of being a member of the Imbonerakure, the youth wing of President Pierre Nkurunziza's ruling CNDD-FDD partyGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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Soldiers try to extinguish a house set alight by protestersGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A young uses a slingshot in front of a burning barricade on a street in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A protester opposed to the Burundian President's third term wears a carved wooden mask near a burning barricade in the Kinama neighbourhood of BujumburaCarl de Souza/AFP
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A protester sets up a barricade during ongoing demonstrations against President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
burundi protests election
A young protester throws a tyre onto the fire raging on a street in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters

Police have been photographed shooting in the direction of protesters who had been throwing rocks at them.

A resident said he was worried that civilians were being targeted. "What am worried about is the threats the police are using towards civilians, they are killing the citizens by shooting at them. Protesters are not armed but police are just shooting at us. We were working but now we cannot go to work due to the presence of the police in our neighbourhood," he said.

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A soldier fires a rifle during a protest in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A boy gestures as he holds stones during unrest in the Burundian capitalGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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Policemen carry their comrade who was hit on the head by a stone thrown by a protesterGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A man moves to cover a protester reportedly killed by police in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A wounded protester, who was shot by police, according to other protesters, lies on the ground in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A masked protester participates in a protest against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A protester wears a makeshift mask to hide his identity during the protestGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A protester carries a homemade replica of a machine gun during a demonstration in the Buyenzi neighbourhood of BujumburaCarl de Souza/AFP
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Policemen walk past a pub in Bujumbura after clearing a road of protestersCarl de Souza/AFP
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A man holds a monkey in a calmer moment after a protest in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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Protesters stage a demonstration against President Pierre Nkurunziza in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A policemen runs as protesters throw stones in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A topless woman shouts at policemen during a protest against Burundi President Pierre NkurunzizaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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Detained anti-government protesters sit in a police vehicle in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters

The violence spilled into the predominantly Muslim Buyenzi district on Tuesday (26 May) after the murder of opposition leader, Zedi Feruzi and his bodyguard, who were killed at point-blank range by unidentified men with machine guns on Saturday (23 May).

Zedi Feruzi, the head of opposition party UPD, was a member of the African nation's relatively small Muslim community. He was a well-known figure, although his party was not among the nation's biggest.

A neighbour, who was not present at the scene but who was nearby at the time of the incident, said he heard 20 shots before a Toyota car fled hastily.

"We heard a lot of gunfire," a neighbour said. "It's unfortunate because there were army soldiers here, and they didn't do anything."

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Relatives and friends gather around the covered body of Zedi Feruzi, the head of opposition party UPD, in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters
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A man grieves as the body of Zedi Feruzi, the head of the Union for Peace and Development opposition party, is laid to rest in BujumburaCarl de Souza/AFP
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Women cry during the funeral of Zedi Feruzi, the head of opposition party UPD, in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters

At least two people were killed and many wounded when three grenades went off in a crowded market in Bujumbura on Friday (22 May).

Doctors said they had received more than 30 patients who were injured and, among them, 15 were in critical condition and required a blood transfusion.

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A woman lies dead on the ground at an open-air-market in Bujumbura after a grenade attackKenny Katombe/Reuters

Nkurunziza's decision to try for a third term has unleashed Burundi's worst political crisis since its civil war ended in 2005.

The presidency announced that Nkurunziza had signed a decree on 21 May for the elections to be financed by increasing the country's deficit and trimming the budgets of the education, health and seven other ministries.

The government also put out a statement asking "patriotic citizens" to contribute money to a special account at the central bank to finance the election.

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Soldiers lead the convoy of Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza's party to a rally outside BujumburaCarl de Souza/AFP
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Supporters of Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza's party attend a rally outside BujumburaCarl de Souza/AFP

The unrest has prompted around 70,000 Burundians to flee abroad, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

A cholera epidemic is taking hold in camps sheltering Burundian refugees. "The epidemic is still worsening. To date some 3,000 cases have been reported, and numbers are increasing at a rate of 300 to 400 people per day, new cases, particularly in Kagunga and nearby areas," UN refugee agency spokesman Adrian Edwards told a news briefing on Friday (21 May).

The outbreak of the disease, spread by contaminated water, hit Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika and the villages of Kagunga and Nyarugusu.

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Burundian refugees are transported aboard the MV Liemba from the fishing village of Kagunga to a transit camp at a stadium in Kigoma, TanzaniaDaniel Hayduk/AFP
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Burundian refugees wait to board the bus to Nyarugusu Refugee Camp from Lake Tanganyika Stadium in KigomaDaniel Hayduk/AFP
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Richard Samuel, 14, plays his home-made guitar as he waits to be transferred to Nyarugusu Refugee Camp from Lake Tanganyika Stadium in KigomaDaniel Hayduk/AFP
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Edwina Daizere, wearing a T-shirt showing US President Barack Obama, holds the hand of Augustine Sabimana, 2, as he recuperates in a clinic in KagungaDaniel Hayduk/AFP

Nkurunziza is urging all refugees to return home. "Many people have fled into Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Others have taken planes and gone abroad. We are asking them to come back, because the whole country is peaceful and secure," he said.

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A man carries a road sign during a protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in BujumburaGoran Tomasevic/Reuters