Red Cross aid workers have put the estimated death toll in the Central African Republic at well over 500 as the sectarian fighting shows no signs of letting up.
The “over 500” toll looks to be an extremely conservative estimate, as the Red Cross confirmed having collected 461 bodies in the capital city alone in the past several days, with scores of slain Muslims already buried by their families uncounted in the toll.
Central African Republic has seen rising tensions for weeks, but since late last week Christian and Muslim militias have been attacking one another, and more often, civilians from the other religion. France has deployed large numbers of troops to the country on a “stabilization” mission.
So far, the French don’t appear to have accomplished much, and are reporting “tough resistance” from the mostly Muslim Seleka militias. Two French soldiers have already been killed.
French President Francois Hollande declared the killings a great sacrifice for the Republic, and insisted their deaths “renew his full confidence” in the military operation.