Bangui, 18 Safar 1435/20 December 2013 (MINA) – At least nine Muslims were killed on Friday (12/30) when the self-styled Christian militia known as anti-balaka attacked a predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR).

     An Anadolu Agency reporter in the scene counted nine dead bodies inside the local mosque, as quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

     The slain people had wounds caused by machetes in the nick, face and other parts of their bodies.

     Local residents told AA the attack occurred at 6:30am and accused the French peacekeepers of failing to protect them.

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    “The French were there and did nothing,” Yahiya Abu Bakr, chairman of a committee that oversees the local mosque told AA.

     No French spokesman was immediately available for comment until the filing of this report.

     Kilometer 5 is the strongest standing Muslim suburb in Bangui and its where most Muslims who were displaced from Christian neighborhoods have sought asylum.

      According to our reporter, the streets of the area were almost deserted after the attack.

      In a report issued Thursday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Christian militias of perpetrating a number of recent “atrocities” against Muslim communities.

      It described the anti-balaka militias as “local vigilantes and soldiers loyal to the previous government.”

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      It refuted claims that the militias were local “self-defense” forces, asserting that “their actions and rhetoric are often violently anti-Muslim.”

     CAR, a landlocked, mineral-rich country, descended into anarchy in March, when Seleka movement – said to be mostly Muslims – ousted Christian president François Bozize, who had come to power in a 2003 coup.

      The months since have seen the emergence of self-styled Christian militias, known as the “anti-balaka.”

     According to UN estimates, more than 400,000 people – nearly ten percent of the country’s 4.6 million-strong population – have abandoned their homes as a result of the violence. (T/P09/P03)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)




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