The caged parrot at the entrance of La Braisiere, a fine Continental restaurant here, does a surprisingly realistic imitation of incoming mortar fire — and for good reason. Rebels, who for the last few years have limited their fighting to the rugged rural areas of this central African country, have made bold incursions into the heart of the refined, insulated capital. Though Burundi has suffered through 10 years of a civil war that has killed an estimated 300,000 people, the capital of this former Belgian colony, sandwiched between steep hills and a long lake, has been an island of sorts, buffered from the rat-a-tat of automatic weapons fire. That changed significantly on July 7, when young rebel fighters crept through the hillsides into a neighborhood of luxury homes on the outskirts of Bujumbura, a city of fewer than a quarter million residents. Full Story
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