BUJUMBURA - Burundi police killed seven worshipers on Tuesday during clashes with more than 100 followers of a woman who claims to see the Virgin Mary once a month, a regional official said.
The members of the banned religious sect were going to pray at the top of a hill in a northern Burundi village when the violence broke out. About 30 people were injured, the official said.
Most of the 8 million citizens in Burundi are Roman Catholics and the central African country does not have a history of religious violence.
"The police ordered believers of the sect to leave the place but they started throwing stones on them, so the police opened fire," Athanase Mbonabuca, governor of Kayanza province where the clashes took place, told Reuters. Many of the protesters also had clubs, Mbonabuca said.