World Bulletin / News Desk
Heavy fighting erupted near the airport in Central African Republic's capital Bangui on Wednesday as Christian militia blocked an attempt to evacuate Muslims, witnesses said, disrupting a visit by a top United Nations aid official.
The former French colony has been gripped by cycles of inter-religious killing despite the deployment of about 6,000 African and 1,600 French peacekeepers to halt violence that some diplomats say risked slipping into genocide.
Songokoua Yetinzapa, a Bangui resident living in a vast camp for displaced civilians near the airport, said clashes began after Chadian troops tried to escort a convoy of Muslims out of the city but were blocked by the militia, known as the "anti-balaka".
"I heard several people were killed but I only saw one dead body: a Muslim who was killed by the anti-balaka," he said by telephone as automatic gunfire and an explosion rang out.
A U.N. official said African peacekeepers had been dispatched to reinforce troops in the area near the airport.
Another U.N. official said the fighting had prevented Valerie Amos, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, from travelling to the north of the country where violence between Muslims and Christians has also scattered tens of thousands of civilians.
Seleka rebels toppled President Francois Bozize last March. Killings and abuses carried while they were in power led to the creation of a mainly Christian self-defence militia known as "anti-balaka".
Around 1 million people have been displaced by the violence. U.N. officials estimate that at least 2,000 people have been killed since the start of the crisis, but say the actual figure will be much higher as mass graves as unearthed and killings continue.
Violence has escalated since Seleka leader Michel Djotodia quit power in January under international pressure. Seleka's retreat has led to Muslims fleeing the south and warnings from a top U.N. official of "ethnic-religious cleansing".
In its first substantive response to the accusation, the isolated North Korea said it could prove it had nothing to do with the massive hacking attack.
28 ISIL militants were killed in airstrikes, including an assistant of ISIL leader
Over 20 Palestinians have been arrested since October as they tried to cross from Gaza into Israel to search for jobs, according to Palestinian rights groups.
Former NATO General Secretary has for the first time, voiced words over the division of Syria.
Activist Shadi Khasrouf was kidnapped by Houthi militants near a military zone in Sanaa and transferred to an undisclosed location
With Israel's continuous bombardment with agricultural land, fisherman, Hamas says that they are tampering with the cease-fire agreement.
The call came in a letter by Putin, himself a former KGB agent, to veterans and current operatives of Russia's security services on the day Moscow traditionally honours them.
"Now that the U.S. hostile policy with an aim to invade our republic under the guise of human rights has become apparent, the idea of denuclearising the Korean peninsula itself is no longer valid," the North's foreign ministry spokesman said
The national broadcaster NHK said there was no tsunami warning, and there were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage.
Egypt closed the Rafah border crossing, Gaza's only access to the outside world that is not controlled by Israel, on October 24 following an attack on a military site in the Sinai Peninsula
Peter Hahn detained on charges of embezzlement and fraud
Air strikes that killed militants are seen as response to Tuesday's deadly school siege in Peshawar that killed more than 140 people
Barry Spurr's messages referred to aboriginal Australians as 'abos' and Muslims as 'mussies'
Bomb explosion occurred in Bani Jamra, a Shi'ite village northwest of the capital Manama and was described by the interior ministry as a "terrorist blast" in a statement
New sanctions aimed at putting pressure on Russia’s economy over Ukraine crisis, come on the heels of US and EU sanctions
Israel gunboats have opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats of the north coast of Gaza with some damage sustained during the shooting.