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".
IAEA) representatives will meet Iranian officials in Tehran on March 9
Egyptian authorities decided to arrest any members of Hamas movement although Hamas denied accusations.
Iraqi troops, backed by Shiite groups, have launched a ground offensive against ISIL on Monday to recapture Tikrit city. Tikrit, a Sunni-majority city, was the homeland of the deceased Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Family of U.S slain Muslim says they are impressed due to Turkey's reactions to this case and Syrian refugees
Israel demolished makeshift homes for the fourth time on the grounds that economic and security buffer zone for Jewish settlements
Netanyahu returns to Israel after visit to United States with his speech congress draws strong criticism.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri described Netanyahu's discourse as an attempt to "portray the aggressor as the victim before international public opinion"
The Syria conflict is the first war that scientists have explicitly linked to climate change. With so many reasons for why the conflict happened in the first place, the overstatement of why climate change in a region where drought is common can be seen as a distraction from the core reasons.
Australian PM says "revolted" by planned executions with the Australian pair among 11 convicts to be shot. The appeal against execution still outstanding
Britain seeks to send police officers to prevent foreign crossing into Syria to join militant groups..
Despite Netanyahu's threats, Iran and the US have resumed talks over Iran's nuclear programme
The new anti-terrorism law China says, will not affect legitimate interests of technology firms.
The boat had left Libya and was carrying 130 people at the time.
President Ghani orders supply contract review after allegations that the bidding was rigged.
Britain's advertising watchdog banned an Israeli advert that showed a view of the walled Old City with the text "Israel has it all"