Scores of bodies in Bangui - Red Cross

2013-03-29 20:17
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Bangui - At least 80 people have died and more than 100 were injured in the takeover of power by rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR), a Red Cross representative said on Friday.

"We have launched an appeal for Central Africans to come and identify the bodies collected in several districts of Bangui by the volunteers of the Central African Red Cross," Albert Yomba Eyamo told dpa.

He added that the unidentified bodies would be given a mass burial.

President Francois Bozize fled the country at the weekend as rebels advanced on Bangui and took control of the capital.

Michel Djotodia leader of the Seleka rebel coalition declared himself president and suspended the constitution.

Djotodia, who is trying to restore security and curb looting, this week called on rebel commanders to start registering their fighters.

Most of the 80 victims were civilians but the death toll reportedly included fighters and rebel supporters.

The Red Cross on Thursday called the situation in the CAR "catastrophic," saying electricity, water, as well as medical care and medicine were in short supply.

The country of 4.5 million people remains among Africa's poorest nations despite being rich in gold, diamonds and uranium.

Thirteen South African soldiers were killed, and 28 wounded, in battles with the rebels at the weekend.

South Africa has about 200 troops in CAR under a 2007 agreement with the government.

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