NEW YORK, 18 August 2004 - The senseless massacre of mostly Congolese refugees that took place in a transit camp in Burundi on the night of August 13-14 is a brutal reminder of the fact that women and children bear the brunt of violent conflict, UNICEF said today. The provisional death toll from the attack stands at 158. Most of the victims were women, children and babies of the Banyamulenge community who were shot dead and burnt in their shelters. About 100 more people were wounded, most of them seriously, by bullets and grenades.
UN agencies on the ground, along with the humanitarian community, immediately mobilized all available resources to assist the wounded and the survivors, who were transferred to a safer area. This work, undertaken in cooperation with the local authorities, is still underway.
For for more information, please contact:
Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media, New York, 212 326 7452