URGENT ¥¥¥ Central African rebels say will enter capital, call for calm

Central Africa's Seleka rebels on Friday called for calm as their troops headed toward the capital Bangui after storming through a key checkpoint.

"We call on everyone, both civilians and the military, to remain calm ahead of our troops' arrival in Bangui, to avoid unnecessary fighting," rebel spokesman Eric Massi told AFP from Paris.

Earlier the rebels were reported to have stormed through a key checkpoint 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of the capital that was manned by an international force.