20 C. Africans killed in Grimari sectarian clashes

Clashes first erupted Monday between former seleka rebels and anti-balaka militiamen in Grimari.

20 C. Africans killed in Grimari sectarian clashes

World Bulletin / News Desk

At least 20 people were killed in three days of sectarian clashes between Christian anti-balaka militias and mainly Muslim seleka fighters in Grimari, 300km northeast of capital Bangui, Antoine Mbao Bogo, president of the local chapter of the Red Cross, said.

"There have been between 20 and 22 people killed in the clashes in Grimari, but we still don't have exact figures or the identity of the victims," Bogo told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Clashes first erupted Monday between former seleka rebels and anti-balaka militiamen in Grimari.

"Anti-balaka militants tried to avenge the deaths [from] previous clashes in Dekoa [in the same region] on April 9 during a gunfight against the seleka," a local official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Anadolu Agency.

"The second day, the anti-balaka received reinforcements from Sibut [180km north of Bangui], who led the offensive against the seleka. On Wednesday, French forces violently separated between the two camps," he added.

The mineral-rich country descended into anarchy one year ago when Seleka rebels – said to be mostly Muslim – ousted Christian President Francois Bozize, who had come to power in a 2003 coup.

Since last December, thousands, mostly Muslims, have been killed in sectarian bloodletting throughout the country.

According to the UN refugee agency, around 173,000 people have been internally displaced by the violence while 37,000 others have fled to neighboring countries.

Last Mod: 19 Nisan 2014, 10:06
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