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Burundi: Gunfire continues amid calls for calm

Soldiers in Bujumbura seek to wrest control from loyalists to ousted President Pierre Nkurunziza.

A screengrab picture shows Burundi soldiers surrounding the state broadcaster’s building in Bujumbura on 13 May 2015.

BUJUMBURA - Heavy gunfire continues to ring out on the streets of Bujumbura as dissident soldiers seek to wrest control from loyalists to ousted President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Nkurunziza was prevented from returning home last night, and has returned to Dar es Salaam.

He was attending a summit there on the crisis triggered by his bid to cling to power.

East African leaders have called it a coup, but media on the ground in Bujumbura are still attaching the word 'attempted'.

Nkurunziza's military commander General Prime Niyobango says they still control the executive office, and have thwarted the coup.

But the man sacked earlier this year as intelligence head, Major-General Godefroid Niyombare says they've taken control of government, sacked Nkurunziza and suspended Parliament.

He is saying the takeover is a response to Nkurunziza's bid to seek an unconstitutional third term in elections next month.

At the same time, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called on Burundi to exercise calm and restraint.

He says that country's leaders need to preserve peace and stability, and has reminded them that the country has suffered from violence in the recent past.