Nepalese, Indian killed in C.Africa airport shooting: France

Two men from Nepal and India were shot dead by French troops guarding the airport of the capital of the Central African Republic after a coup, the French defence ministry said Thursday.

Paris had earlier said two Indian nationals had died in Monday's shooting when the soldiers opened fire on a car that came hurtling towards them even after they fired warning shots.

A three-car convoy consisting of the two civilians and Chadian policemen were targeted in the attack, general staff spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard told reporters.

"It now appears that the convoy comprised Indian and Nepalese civilians as well as Chadian policemen," he said. "Two civilians died when the (French soldiers) opened fire, one was Indian and the other Nepalese."

He said four Chadian policemen were among a dozen others wounded.

Around 550 French soldiers are present in the Central African Republic to ensure the security of French nationals and other expatriates after a weekend coup.

French President Francois Hollande has expressed regret about the deaths and assured India that the circumstances of the shooting would be thoroughly investigated.