Aid worker killed in C. Africa amid violence

The bloodshed, which began on Sunday in the central town of Ippy, resulted from clashes between the mainly Muslim ex-Seleka rebels and Christian anti-Balaka militia

Bangui, Central African Republic: A Central African Republic (CAR) aid worker was killed after gunman stormed his home, his family said on Thursday, the latest death in a week of clashes in the country.

The 35-year-old man who worked for Italian humanitarian organisation Intersos, died at hospital following the shooting overnight Wednesday to Thursday in Kaga Bandoro, in the north of CAR.

The region is controlled by two armed groups that last week prevented the celebration of a national holiday.

At least 10 people had already been killed this week in a wave of incidents between rival armed groups, local officials and a United Nations (UN) source said on Thursday.

The bloodshed, which began on Sunday in the central town of Ippy, resulted from clashes between the mainly Muslim ex-Seleka rebels and Christian anti-Balaka militia.

“On Wednesday, we buried 10 people,” a religious source said, adding that the dead included both civilians and gunmen and warning that the death toll could be as high as 40.

The violence pitted members of the FPRC (Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique) and the UPC (Union pour la paix en Centrafrique), both offshoots of the Seleka rebel alliance who joined forces two months ago, against a dissident branch of the FPRC which is allied with the anti-Balaka, the sources said.

On Monday, a Mauritanian policeman with the UN mission in CAR was killed and three others wounded in an attack in the central city of Bria. He was the 14th peacekeeper to be killed in attacks in the country this year.

One of the world’s poorest nations, CAR has been struggling to recover from a 2013 civil war that started when President Francois Bozize was overthrown by the Seleka rebels.

Christians, who account for about 80 per cent of the population, sought revenge by organising vigilante units dubbed “anti-balaka” in reference to the machetes used by the rebels.

Since then, the country has been blighted by simmering sectarian violence which has killed thousands and displaced more than 600,000 people, almost a quarter of the total population.

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