26 December 2013

Central African Republic: Relief Workers Say Dozens Dead in CAR's Capital

Relief workers say they have recovered dozens of bodies in the capital of the Central African Republic, where clashes involving armed groups escalated this week.

The Red Cross said Thursday that it had recovered more than 40 bodies from the streets of Bangui over the past two days, and that most of the victims appeared to be civilians.

Also, the African Union says the mostly Christian anti-balaka forces attacked African peacekeepers on Wednesday, leaving six dead.

On Thursday, French soldiers patrolled the main roads in the capital. However, there were reports of sporadic shooting in some neighborhoods.

French and African forces have been trying to disarm militias and quell persistent unrest in CAR.

The unrest began in March, when mostly Muslim Seleka forces overthrew President Francois Bozize, and much of the fighting since then has been between ex-Seleka rebels and the anti-balaka militias.

In a Tuesday news conference, interim President Michel Djotodia appealed for calm, urging citizens to "love each other."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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