Burundi coup
Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza speaks during a news conference in Bujumbura, Burundi Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has made his first public appearance in the country since the attempted coup as he raised fresh concerns over the emergence of the Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabaab.

Nkurunziza has not been seen in public since anti-government forces in the east African nation tried to oust him.

Though he did not directly address the domestic crisis, Nkurunziza told reporters he was "preoccupied" with dealing with the Somali jihadist organisation.

"We take seriously the threat of al-Shabaab," he said. Nkurunziza, speaking in French, did not even mention the coup attempt during the press conference.

He added: "You know that Burundi is among the countries that are contributing troops in Somalia and that is why I came here to contact my friends and my fellow presidents in Kenya and Uganda and these countries are being targeted by al-Shabaab."

Burundi has also contributed troops to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia to combat the Islamist militants. Other African nations which are taking part in the anti-al-Shabaab mission have also come under attack by the group in recent years.

The al-Qaeda-inspired group alleged the Burundi leader was trying to divert people's attention from the grave domestic crisis he is facing.

In a statement to Reuters, an al-Shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Ali Mohammad Rage said: "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."

Nkurunziza was in Tanzania when rebel military figures tried to stage a coup against him on Wednesday, 13 May. However, he returned to the country two days later cementing his power with the help of forces loyal to him.

Top security officials and generals have been captured following the failed coup. However, General Godefroid Niyombare, who is thought to have spearheaded the coup attempt, is still at large.