A court in Burundi has sentenced four generals who were the alleged leaders of a failed coup to life in prison.

Cyrille Ndayirukire, Zenon Ndabaneze, Juvenal Niyongabo and Helmenegilde Nimenya had been among more than 20 former military officers and soldiers put on trial for their alleged roles in the May coup.

Prosecutors had asked for life terms for all the suspects.

Burundi, especially the capital Bujumbura, has been wracked by violence since the decision last April by President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek a third term despite widespread opposition.

The move sparked violent protests and boiled over into the failed coup.

The U.N. says hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest as both supporters and opponents of the government appear to target each other. .