Military: Almost 30 killed in CAR fighting

2014-05-05 18:30


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Bangui - Almost 30 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in several days of fighting between rival factions in the Central African Republic, an African military source said on Monday.

The clashes erupted on Thursday in the Mala region around 200km north of the capital Bangui between Seleka rebels and the Christian vigilante groups known as the anti-Balaka, an official from the African peacekeeping force MISCA told AFP.

People fleeing the fighting were forced to find refuge in neighbouring areas, according to the official.

Residents told AFP by phone that Seleka fighters still occupied Mala and were committing various atrocities.

"They kill, loot, rape and steal with impunity. There is no one to protect the population from their abuses. Even the Catholic Church in Mala was attacked and those seeking refuge inside were fired upon and had to flee," said Eric Ketegaza, one of those who fled Mala.

Despite the presence of international peacekeepers, violence remains a daily occurrence in the Central African Republic where the local population and humanitarian organisations are subject to attacks by armed Seleka or anti-Balaka fighters.

On Monday, international charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it would temporarily cut back its work in the country after a bloody attack on a hospital last month left 22 people dead, including three of its own workers.

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