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Central Africa clashes kill 30, 'mainly civilians'

At least 30 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in fighting between mainly Christian militia and predominantly Muslim rebels in the strife-torn Central African Republic, police said Wednesday. The victims, "the majority of them civilians" caught in the crossfire, died during clashes Tuesday that also left more than 10 people wounded in the central town of Dekoa, police said.

Central Africa clashes kill 30, 'mainly civilians'

At least 30 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in fighting between mainly Christian militia and predominantly Muslim rebels in the strife-torn Central African Republic, police said Wednesday. The victims, "the majority of them civilians" caught in the crossfire, died during clashes Tuesday that also left more than 10 people wounded in the central town of Dekoa, police said.

Ten dead as Chadian troops open fire on Bangui civilians - officials

BANGUI (Reuters) - At least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded when Chadian troops opened fire on civilians in Central African Republic's capital Bangui, officials said on Sunday. The troops were driving into the city, scarred by religious conflict over the past year, to escort a convoy of Muslims back to Chad, having earlier crossed the countries' border some 500 km (300 miles) to the north in about 15 army vehicles.

20 killed in grenade attack on C.Africa funeral service

At least 20 people died when extremists threw hand grenades at a crowd of mourners during a funeral service in the Central African Republic capital Bangui overnight, the government said on Friday. "Around 11:00 pm (Thursday) a group of extremists, well known to the police, threw hand grenades at a crowd that was attending a wake," Public Security Minister Denis Wangao Kizimale told national radio. "At least 20 people were killed and 11 others wounded and are currently undergoing treatment in hospital," he added.

EU's Ashton 'alarmed' by escalating violence in Bangui

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday sounded a strong note of alarm over the escalation of violence in recent days in the capital of the Central African Republic. "I am alarmed by the deteriorating situation in Bangui and the escalation of violence there since March 22," she said. Attacks against foreign peacekeepers seeking to stem inter-religious strife were "unacceptable", she said in a statement.

France striving to stop Central African Republic split, Hollande says

By Serge Leger Kokpakpa BANGUI (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande told the Central African Republic on Friday that his troops would work to stop the country splitting in two and endeavor to disarm rival fighters engaged in months of inter-religious killing. Arriving in the capital Bangui from Nigeria, where he attended unification celebrations, Hollande met the interim president, religious leaders and addressed French troops.

Nine more bodies found in Bangui streets: Red Cross

The Red Cross said Tuesday it had collected nine more bodies in Bangui, bringing to 1,240 the number of confirmed deaths from the violence in the Central African capital since December. Among the corpses collected by Red Cross staff were two Chadian soldiers from the African Union peacekeeping force MISCA and two civilians who were killed on Sunday in clashes with militiamen on Sunday. The bodies of the other five were retrieved from several Bangui neighbourhoods, a Red Cross official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

C. Africa violence has abated, says French general

Violence and sectarian fighting have abated in conflict-torn Central African Republic since the arrival of French peacekeepers in December, the head of the force said Sunday. General Francisco Soriano also said the French forces had seized nearly 1,000 firearms and 4,000 other weapons such as knives and rods in the capital Bangui and across the country. Speaking ahead of a parliamentary vote on Tuesday to extend the French mission in its former colony, Soriano said a lot of work remained to be done in the mineral-rich but impoverished nation.

Food scarcity in C.Africa as Muslim shopkeepers flee

Hit by looting and brutal violence, Muslim shopkeepers in the Central African Republic have fled in huge numbers, leaving locals to confront a new menace of food scarcity and soaring prices. "Now the hard part begins," said Herve Songo, a teacher in the capital Bangui. "Now that all the Muslim shops have been looted, ransacked and destroyed, prices have increased substantially." The cost of everyday items like cooking gas, flour and sugar have gone up by a quarter in a matter of weeks, he said. That is if there is anything left to buy.

Fleeing traders plunge C.Africa into food crisis

Violence in the Central African Republic has forced many traders and herders to flee, exacerbating an already alarming food crisis, relief groups said Tuesday. Oxfam and Action Contre La Faim (ACF - Action Against Hunger) said three quarters of wholesalers in Bangui had already fled. "Most of Bangui's food trade relies on around 40 large-scale wholesalers who import food from neighbouring countries and resell on to small traders," a statement said.
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