Rwandan Special Forces operators have entered Nyungwe Forest on the border with Burundi to pursue armed militants who attacked and killed two Rwandans on Saturday night.
The attack came just a day after President Paul Kagame warned of stiff military resistance against state enemies after rebels from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) killed two soldiers.
Rwanda Military Spokesperson, Lt Col Innocent Munyengango says the attack occurred at 6:15pm in Cyitabi Sector of Nyamagabe District in Southern Rwanda.
“The RDF (Rwanda Defence Force) is pursuing the attackers who fled into Nyungwe Forest,” said Munyengango in a statement seen by ChimpReports.
He said the unidentified attackers “set fire to three passenger vehicles, killing two civilians and injuring eight.”
The injured victims were rushed to Kigeme Hospital for treatment, according to Munyengango.
Residents told this news website the militants appeared to have rehearsed the operation as the attack which lasted almost 30 minutes left a huge trail of death and destruction.
The army were yet to arrest any suspects.
Officials said Special Forces teams were quickly deployed in the area, blocking major roads in search of militants.
Munyengango said the armed forces “have been watching the situation in this area for some time now and have a good idea of who is behind today’s incident.”
He added: “We are in pursuit of the attackers and action will be taken against those responsible.”
It remains unclear if the Rwandan forces will cross into Burundi where they claim the rebels originated.
This is the third time in a few months that rebels are attacking Rwanda.
On July 1, an armed gang with rifles attacked Nyaruguru District in Nyabimata Sector, Ruhinga Cell in Cyamuzi Village.
Rwanda National Police said then the militants had attacked through Nyungwe forest from Burundi and fled back in the same direction.
At the time, the police further said, “This is a similar incident that occurred in the same district less than two weeks ago.”
Addressing the media in Kigali on Friday, Kagame spoke about Rwanda’s tense relations with Burundi.
“We have not been sucked into these provocations because that would be giving them what they want, to prove their point that they have no other problem except Rwanda,” he warned.
President Pierre Nkurunziza accuses Rwanda of destabilizing Burundi by providing a sanctuary and logistics to dissidents who perpetrated the failed 2015 coup in Bujumbura.
The situation along the Rwanda-Burundi border remains tense considering the worsening diplomatic relations between both countries.
Nkurunziza, in a letter to East African Community chairman, President Yoweri Museveni, said he considers Rwanda an “enemy country.”
Meanwhile, Kagame on Friday warned he would not tolerate neighbours who threaten his country’s security.
“When it comes to us, our history, we don’t take any security challenge lightly. They say once bitten, twice shy,” said Kagame.
“We have had our taste of it, we wouldn’t want to be found wanting in terms of taking care of our security. Big or small, we will take care of it.”