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Officials: 2 wounded in 5 grenade attacks in Burundi hours after presidential polls close

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — Grenade attacks wounded two people overnight across Burundi, just hours after polls closed in the country's presidential election, officials and a witness said Tuesday.

An Associated Press reporter saw a Tanzanian Embassy car that appeared to have been damaged by a grenade after two explosions in the capital, Bujumbura, late Monday.

"A car came speeding past, then we heard the sound of something like a stone hitting the ground and a loud explosion," said Nadine Bizimana, 24, a witness at the first blast.

Two other attacks occurred around the country overnight, wounding two members of the same family, said Pierre Channel Ntarabaganyi, the police spokesman. Prosper Ntahorwamiye, spokesman for the National Electoral Commission, said a fifth grenade attack targeted one of their vehicles, which was not damaged.

A coalition of non-governmental groups says at least eight people have been killed and more than 50 people wounded in almost 60 explosions since June.

On Monday, Burundi held only its second direct president election since independence from Belgium in July 1962. Incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza was the only candidate after opposition members boycotted the vote, saying they feared it would be rigged. Official election results are expected Wednesday.

The Central African nation's war began in October 1993, after Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated. The war was fought mainly between Hutu rebels and a Tutsi-dominated army, and resulted in the deaths of more than 250,000 people.

Fears of a resurgence of conflict in Burundi have been fueled by the disappearance of Agathon Rwasa, whose rebel group was the last to sign a cease-fire deal and only began disarming last year.

Rwasa had declared his intention to challenge Nkurunziza before saying he will boycott the election. He has not been seen publicly for a week and officials of his party say they do not know where he is.

The governing party and the opposition — both made up of former rebels — have also been trading accusations of stockpiling weapons and arming youth groups in a bid to either prevent or force voters going to the polls.