CAR violence leaves unarmed people dead

Witness reports deadly violence between French forces and Christian armed group.

    CAR violence leaves unarmed people dead
    The United Nations Security Council has authorised a 12,000-strong peacekeeping mission be deployed [AP]

    A witness has said fighting between a Christian militia and French soldiers in Central African Republic has left several people dead, including some who appeared unarmed.

    Dimanche Ngodi, an official in Grimari in the country's centre, told AP news agency the fighting began on Sunday between Christian fighters and former members of a Muslim rebel group. Ngodi said French forces intervened.

    Captain Sebastien Isern, spokesman for the French forces, said they were conducting regular patrols in the town, which had seen significant fighting.

    Isern said they were fired on by an armed group and returned fire. He did not have a death toll, only saying the group was "neutralised".

    Ngodi, who witnessed the fighting, said French forces killed several fighters. He said most were armed, but three did not appear to be.

    Last week, fighters from the Muslim Seleka rebels shot dead the priest of the northern town of Paoua, a church official in Bangui told Reuters news agency.

    Chaos

    The killing came two days after Seleka gunmen briefly kidnapped the bishop of the nearby town of Bossangoa.

    Virtually all Muslims have fled Bangui since Seleka, which seized power in March 2013, was forced to step aside in January.

    The United Nations has since reported a "cleansing" of Muslims from the country's west.

    French troops have taken the lead in trying to quell the chaos in its former colony.

    The United Nations Security Council this month authorised a 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission to be deployed in
    September, recognition that 6,000 peacekeepers from the African peacekeeping force (MISCA) and France's 2,000 strong Sangaris force had failed to stamp their authority on the country.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.