30 dead in Central African Republic clash

BANGUI, Central African Republic — Clashes between Christian and Muslim fighters in Central African Republic have left at least 30 people dead and forced others to flee their homes, a priest said Thursday.

Everaldo De Suza of the Saint Anne parish in the central town of Dekoa said that the fighting began Tuesday when Christian militants attacked and Muslim fighters fought back.

A Christian commander confirmed the fighting but denied that his forces had started it. The death toll could not be independently confirmed.

The Muslim fighters, members of the disbanded Seleka rebel alliance who had a tenuous hold on the town when the fighting began, called for reinforcements, De Suza said. Most of the dead were civilians, killed by Muslims who fired into a crowd of people they mistook for Christian militants, he said.

Pillaging and death threats from the fighters forced many others to flee the town for the bush, he said.

Central African Republic, long unstable, descended deeper into chaos following a coup last year by the Seleka alliance, which proceeded to commit atrocities against civilians. Christian militias sprung up in response, vowing revenge.

France has sent about 2,000 troops, and the African Union peacekeeping force says it now has about 5,000 forces in the country after the departure of Chadian troops. But the sectarian violence continues to escalate. As a result, the Security Council on Thursday unanimously approved a nearly 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force for Central African Republic. The 10,000 U.N. troops and 1,800 police will take over from African Union soldiers — but not until Sept. 15.

France, in particular, is eager for greater involvement on the part of the international community, as the immensity of the task becomes clear. It has already extended its commitment, but its troops have so far struggled to provide security in the vast country. Last week, it added about 50 gendarmes to its ranks to help patrol in the capital.

On Wednesday, two French soldiers were lightly injured by a grenade, according to Capt. Sebastien Isern, spokesman for the French force in Bangui.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
A local connection to history

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson remembers The Post’s Katharine Graham, who visited several times.

Most Read