Bundu 12 10 09:
Women gathered early that morning after news went round of a planned enumeration exercise in the community - the marking of houses for demolition. They danced, prayed and chanted insults to the governor. They carried placards, reading, ‘Don’t kill us in our own homes’, ‘We want development not demolition’, ‘[Governor] leave us alone’. A crowd assembled; people on their way to work stopped to watch; children gathered at the junction; young men joined the dancing. The protest was spirited, defiant even, but absolutely peaceful.
Two armoured personnel carriers had been parked by the crowd since it first gathered. The armed mobile policemen that manned it looked on impassively, neither threatening, nor threatened by the crowd. About half an hour into the protest, a convoy of ‘Operation Flush’ trucks carrying security forces armed with automatic weapons, lead by an assault vehicle mounted cannon, charged the crowd at high speed. They opened fire without warning.
People were shot from behind as they ran. One person was shot through the back, the bullet bursting through his chest; another was shot just above the kidneys; another through the buttocks; another in his ribs; another in the leg; another in the foot; another in the hand. One person was shot in the head. Soldiers followed trails of blood to where people hid. Bodies were seen piled onto to trucks and driven off.
The soldiers fanned out through the community, shooting in the narrow alleys of Bundu-Ama, rifle-butting and whipping young men, breaking open doors, looting restaurants, stealing money. One young man was shot at point blank range as he hid in his room. Security forces prevented him receiving medical attention for two hours. Many of the victims were not even part of the protest, some were on their way to work, others were in their homes when they were shot. A seventeen year old girl was hit by a stray bullet in a settlement on the other side of the creek. All the victims needed hospital treatment, many remained in intensive care for days or weeks.
At least 13 people were shot. The number of dead is as yet unconfirmed.