France says Central African leader has fled capital

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Sunday that Central African Republic President Francois Bozize had fled the capital Bangui, which is now under the control of rebels.

"I call upon all sides to show the greatest restraint," Fabius said in a statement. Fighters in the Seleka rebel coalition launched an offensive on Bangui after the collapse of a two-month-old peace deal.

Fabius said the French embassy was in constant touch with nationals in the country, adding: "We have asked them to remain at home."