At Least 300 Killed as Central African Republic Violence Spikes

Religious Clashes Continue as Civilians Hide in Airport

Two days of religious killings has left at least 300 people dead in the Central African Republic (CAR), with no sign of the violence letting up. The toll is preliminary and expected to be much, much higher when the bodies strewn along the highways are all counted.

Split roughly in three by Christian, Muslim and indigenous religious beliefs, the violence is centered on Christian militias, loyal to the ousted President Bozize, and Muslim militias loyal to the current government. France, citing UN authorizations to intervene, has sent large numbers of troops to the country as well.

The arrival of the French troops predictably did nothing to calm the violence, and tit-for-tat killings by the militias were reported throughout the day, forcing thousands of civilians to hide at the Bangui airport, hoping to ride out the fighting there.

Both sides are blaming the other for the spike in violence, and while neither side’s militias seem to be fighting one another very much, they are both finding plenty of opportunities to attack the other side’s civilian population.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.