|Published : 18 Sep 2016, 14:16:17|
Dozens killed in Central African Republic massacre
Rebels have killed dozens of villagers close to a town in the centre of the Central African Republic (CAR), according to a presidential spokesman.
The incident marks the worst bloodshed in recent months in a country trying to draw a line under years of religious violence and political turmoil, according to a media report.
Albert Mokpeme said the killings took place in the village of Ndomete, not far from the town of Kaga-Bandoro located in the centre of the country, about 350 km north of the capital Bangui. He blamed fighters from the former Seleka rebel coalition.
"There were 26 victims. The Seleka rebels went door to door... The village chief was among the victims," Albert Mokpeme said on Saturday.
Violence pitting the mainly Muslim Seleka fighters against rival Christian anti-Balaka members started on Friday in Ndomete, before spreading to Kaga-Bandoro.
CAR's UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, dispatched troops to the area and separated the two groups.
MINUSCA said in a statement that it was reinforcing its positions in and around Kaga-Bandoro and stepping up patrols in an effort to protect civilians and prevent further violence, according to the Reuters news agency. The mission declined to give a death toll.