Rival groups clash in CAR
Bangui - Rival armed groups on Sunday resumed fierce fighting over control of diamond mines in the town of Bria in the Central African Republic, forcing many residents to flee, a military source said.
The battle pitting the rebel Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) against the former militants of the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) resumed suddenly with double intensity and spread to areas not previously affected, the source said.
At least 21 people have been killed in the town this week, with the death toll expected to rise given the intensity of the fighting.
The source said an army had received reinforcements but failed to reassure the frightened poipulation, with many residents fleeing the city.
The CPJP signed a truce in June although it had not joined a broader ceasefire signed in Bangui in Libreville in 2008 by most rebel groups.
A dissident faction joined the peace process in August. The UFDR meanwhile signed a peace deal with Bangui in April 2008.
The two rebellions represent different ethnic groups - the CPJP is composed of the Rongas while the UFDR represents the Goulas.