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Burundi coup ends in failure, leaders arrested

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Three leaders of a failed coup against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza have been arrested, his spokesman says.

However coup leader Gen Godefroid Niyombare is “still on the run”.

Earlier, Gen Niyombare told the AFP news agency that he and his followers were going to surrender, adding: “I hope they won’t kill us”.

President Pierre Nkurunziza has tweeted he is back home. He was in Tanzania when the coup attempt against his bid to seek a third term was launched.

“If they are found to be among the coup leaders they will have to face justice,” Mr Abayeho said, adding that it was only a small section of the army who had rebelled and denying a division in the army.

Security Minister Gabriel Nizigama told the BBC’s Maud Jullien in Bujumbura that two police commissioners and about a dozen other police officers had also been arrested after a brief exchange of fire at one of the generals’ houses where they were hiding.

Gen Ndayirukiye earlier admitted that the attempt to overthrow the president had failed. He said coup leaders had been “faced with an overpowering military determination to support the system in power”.

Burundi former Defence Minister Cyrille Ndayirukiye points to a direction during a attempted coup in the capital Bujumbura, on 13 May 2015.

Ex-Defence Minister Gen Cyrille Ndayirukiye (C) was among the coup leaders arrested on Friday

Meanwhile, civil society groups in Burundi are calling on people to return to the streets after weeks of protests against Mr Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term in office.

“Our movement had nothing to do with the attempted coup or the failed coup,” Gordien Niyungeko, of rights organisation Focode, told Reuters news agency.

Many view his bid as an unconstitutional move. Tens of thousands of people have fled the country.

Thousands celebrated on the streets of the capital after Gen Niyombare announced the takeover on national radio on Wednesday, while President Nkurunziza was at a summit in Tanzania.

Protesters, who are against President Pierre Nkurunziza"s decision to run for a third term, gesture in front of a burning barricade in Bujumbura, Burundi 14 May 2015.

Protesters took to the streets to celebrate news of the coup

Bujumbura, Burundi, 14 May 2015

The signs of heavy fighting were seen over Bujumbura on Thursday

The streets of Bujumbura were reported to be calm on Friday morning.

It comes after a day of heavy fighting for control of the national state TV and radio stations, which the Burundi military say they now control. Five soldiers were killed.

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