World Bulletin/News Desk
A cleric and a French woman were reportedly kidnapped by the anti-balaka militia in the troubled Central African Republic.
"A French woman working for the Diocesan Health Coordination Office was abducted along with a cleric in the northern part of Bangui," Jesus Martial Demele, the vicar general of the archdiocese of Bangui, told The Anadolu Agency.
He gave no further details about the abduction.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the kidnapping and authorities have yet to comment.
Sources within the anti-balaka militia, meanwhile, said that the abduction was intended to pave the way for "negotiating the release of the [militia] leader Rodrigue Ngaibona, who was detained by UN peacekeepers on Saturday.
On Monday, dozens of Ngaibona's men gathered at a building next to Barthelemy Boganda high school in the capital, causing students to flee in panic, according to a Central African solider.
The anti-balaka militia is preparing a statement on the issue, spokesman Igor Larnaka told AA.
Since March 2013, the troubled Central African Republic has been plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between the Christian anti-balaka militia and Muslim seleka fighters.
Anti-Muslim violence escalated after the country's president, Michel Djotodia, stepped down in January to be replaced by Samba-Panza – a Christian who had formerly served as mayor of Bangui.
Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2015, 22:36