|Sick: Protesters chase and thrown stones at a female police officer they accused of opening fire on protesters in Bujumbura this afternoon|
This is the moment a Burundian policewoman was stoned by a rampaging mob who accused her of shooting at people taking part in a riot over the president's controversial bid for third term in office. Officers opened fire on demonstrators amid furious clashes on the streets of the capital Bujumbura, as Pierre Nkurunziza defied international pressure to cease his latest campaign for president.
Shortly after the shots were fired, the policewoman was punched, kicked and dragged along the streets of the capital Bujumbura by a furious mob who managed to separate her from her colleagues. Harrowing images show the woman attempting to flee for her life while knife and stone-wielding men fight among themselves to reach her. Eventually the female officer's colleagues managed to get between her and her attackers, enabling her to flee to safety with only minor injuries.
At least one protester died in today's violence, while two others were reportedly killed overnight in a grenade explosion. The latest deaths bring the number killed in more than two weeks of anti-government protests to more than 20 and come as African leaders prepare to hold a crisis meeting in Tanzania tomorrow.
Over 50,000 Burundians have fled into neighbouring nations since the unrest began.
Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader from the Hutu majority who has been in power since 2005, has come under intense international pressure to withdraw from next month's election and stand down. Opposition groups insist that it is unconstitutional for him to run for more than two terms. But he argues that his first presidential term did not count as he was elected by parliament, not directly by the people.
'The presidents should be clear with Nkurunziza... they must tell him to leave for the good of everybody,' said Aremus, a 24-year old protester. 'The summit tomorrow is a test... the heads of state must show their maturity in crisis management by telling Nkurunziza to leave,' said Donatien, manning one of the street barricades.
The clashes between security forces and demonstrators have raised fears of a return to violence in the central African state, which is still recovering from a brutal 13-year civil war that ended in 2006. The European Union and United States called Monday for the elections set for late June to be delayed.
In Bujumbura's Musaga district, some 300 women marched singing and chanting slogans against a third term. 'No to the third term for Nkurunziza,' one group shouted. Asked to rule on the third-term issue, the constitutional court found in Nkurunziza's favour but not before one of the judges fled the country claiming its members were subject to death threats.
'Today we are optimistic that the elections will be very peaceful, transparent and also fair,' Nkurunziza said. 'We can assure (you) that we will accept the outcome of the ballot box.'
|Furious Burundian protesters violently carry a female police officer they accused of opening fire on them in the capital Bujumbura today|
|The female police officer is dragged along on the street and kicked in the head by a group of men who accused her of shooting at them|
|Two men appear to be protecting the police officer while several others - including one wearing Chelsea football shorts - punch and kick her|
|The female police officer is struck on the head by an object held by one of the men protesting in the Buterere neighbourhood of Bujumbura|
|A helmeted police officer and another man in a black polo shirt attempt to hold back the crowds throwing stones and kicking at her|
|A man carrying a large knife is seen among the rioters who appear to have been attempting to kill the female police officer|
|Protection: The female police officer manages to get hold of a gun as the man in black gets between her and the furious protesters|
|The female officer looks anguished while a policeman wearing a helmet and carrying a gun pleads with the demonstrators to withdraw|
|The bloodied female officer cowers in terror as she makes her way along a road in the Buterere neighbourhood of Bujumbura, Burundi|
|The man in the black t-shirt comforts the female officer and her colleagues finally manage to take control of the situation|
|A senior police officer manages to escort the woman away from the scene while the stone-carrying protesters argue among themselves|
|Painful: The injured female officer is eventually helped from the scene by two male colleagues after escaping the rampaging mob|
|Officers opened fire on demonstrators amid furious clashes on the streets of the capital Bujumbura, as Pierre Nkurunziza defied international pressure to cease his latest campaign for president|
|At least one protester is understood to have died in today's violence, while two others were reportedly killed overnight in a grenade explosion|
|A policeman runs with a detained protester during a protest in Buterere neighbourhood of Bujumbura, Burundi this morning|
|This morning police in Bujumbura opened fire on protesters in an apparent attempt to scatter crowds who wanted to attack the house of a police officer|
|Sickening: One of the rioters poses with the body of a dead barn owl tied to a cross, in what is believed to be a political gesture|
|A protester holds up a dead owl attached to a stick. The symolb is intended to denigrate Burundi's ruling party, whose emblem is an eagle|
|A policeman detains a protester during a protest in Buterere neighbourhood of Bujumbura this afternoon|
|The rioter argues with police officers are the accuse him of taking part in the attack on their female colleague|
|Police officers fire guns and teargas towards protesters throwing stones in a suburb of Burundi's capital this afternoon|
|Casual: Two men walk in front of burning barricade in the Burundian capital of Bujumbura earlier this morning|
|Protesters run away from police and behind a bruning barricade during a protest in Buterere neighbourhood of Bujumbura this morning|
|Attacking the police: Protesters throw stones at police during a furious demonstration in the capital Bujumbura today|
|Officers fired tear gas to break up a crowd of some 200 stone-throwing youths in Bujumbura earlier this morning|
|On the run: Protesters run away from police during a protest in Buterere neighbourhood of Bujumbura this morning|
|A policeman stands in front of a burnt barricade in Bujumbura. Violence in the Burundian capital is continuing this afternoon|