Five killed in CAR attack

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iol pic afr car nana bakassa AFP A policeman stands guard on a road in Nana Bakassa, Central African Republic. File picture: Lionel Healing

Bangui -

At least five people were killed during an attack by armed men on a northern town in the Central African Republic, a source in the African peacekeeping force said on Wednesday.

Heavily armed men believed to be ex-Seleka rebel fighters stormed Nana Bakassa, 300km north of the capital Bangui on Tuesday, an officer with the MISCA force told AFP.

“We provisionally counted five dead and others wounded,” with people targeted on the streets and in their homes, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The men involved in the attack were identified by residents as members of the mostly-Muslim Seleka movement, which controls parts of the north of the country, the MISCA officer said.

Nana Bakassa is located in the district of Ouham, home of former president Francois Bozize, who was overthrown by the Seleka rebels in March 2013, plunging the country into chaos.

Although a ceasefire pact was signed between armed groups in July, it has failed to end the bloodshed, and a new government tasked with ending more than a year of ethnic and religious violence has already come under fire.

On Wednesday, the head of the country's electoral authority said it was highly unlikely that elections scheduled for next year will take place on time because of insecurity and budget constraints.

“The elections planned for February 2015 will not be able to take place on that date,” Dieudonne Kombo-Yaya, the president of the national electoral body said.

The situation on the ground remains delicate, with the Seleka former rebel alliance accusing members who have joined the government of “high treason”.

Clashes between the former rebels and largely Christian “anti-balaka” vigilante forces, which were created in response to Seleka's atrocities, have left thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. - Sapa-AFP


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