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LDS missionaries leave Burundi

SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church moved missionaries out of Burundi as anti-government protests led troops to fire bullets and teargas into neighborhoods roiled by a constitutional crisis.

Burundi is part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Lubumbashi Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Due to political unrest in the area, the church has moved several missionaries serving in the African nation of Burundi to other areas within the mission," LDS spokesman Eric Hawkins said. "Moving missionaries within a mission to ensure their safety is a common practice throughout the world."

The LDS Church has more than 500 members in three congregations in the country.

Burundi's president filed last month to run for a third term in office, setting off demonstrations that led to violence Tuesday. Protestors say the move is unconstitutional.

A summit of African leaders this week failed to convince President Pierre Nkurunziza not to run, sparking fresh violence.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com