A civic leader in Burundi says at least 77 civilians have been killed in clashes with the security forces since the start of anti-government protests in April.

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, who heads the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons, said Friday that at least 1,000 people have been arrested and dozens of prisoners tortured. He said his group has committees that have been tallying the death toll as well as visiting with prisoners.

A police spokesman, Pierre Nkurikiye, denied the torture allegations but didn't say how many people are in custody over protesting against a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The Red Cross in Burundi says that in the capital, Bujumbura, alone at least 24 civilians have been killed and 591 more wounded in unrest.