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CAR: At least 3 dead in clashes after kidnapping of policemen

CAR: At least 3 dead in clashes after kidnapping of policemen

Central African Republic

There was heavy gunfire and chaos in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, on Monday as residents flee from an operation by security forces after the kidnapping of six policemen.

According to AFP correspondent in Bangui, the operation carried out by local and international security forces with heavy firearms in the PK5 Muslim neighbourhood has driven away hundreds of residents in neighbouring communities to other districts of Bangui in the afternoon.

The police said three people have been shot dead in the operation, AFP reports.

According to eye witnesses who were fleeing the gunfire, soldiers of the United Nations Mission in the CAR (Minusca) are also part of the operation.

A PK5 self-defense group held policemen hostage on Sunday following an arrest by the police last weekend at the northern exit of Bangui, a resident said.

The Minister of Public Security, Jean-Serge Bokassa, confirmed the hostage-taking on local Radio Ndeke Luka demanding their immediate release of the six policemen.

The shooting caused the blocking of several roads halting all activities in the capital as helicopters of the international forces are hovering over Bangui.

Last week, at least ten people were killed and several others injured in an attack by suspected Fulani and ex-Seleka rebels in the western part of the country marking the first major violence since the election of President Touadera in February.