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2 dead, 10 injured in shooting exchanges in Bangui

Central African Republic

At least two people were killed and ten injured in shooting exchanges in the Central African Republic, Bangui, according to a hospital source. The incident the source said occured in the Muslim district of PK5.

Several houses were also burned at PK5 and in the neighborhoods near Yakité, Castors and Sara, which many residents fled to.

Heavy fire with automatic weapons, whose origin are unknown were exchanged for several hours on Sunday evening.

Calm is reported to have returned on Monday.

The day before, shots had already been heard, pitting the Central African security forces against armed men from the PK5 in the Beaver district.

Despite this tension, about 3,000 people including President Faustin-Archange Touadéra and his Prime Minister Simplice Sarandji on Monday attended a funeral service in Central Bangui for victims killed on a May 1 church attack that killed a priest.

‘‘Yes, we have come because of one of our own Saint Joseph, we are in mourning, and the Catholic Church of Central Africa is in mourning for the tragic deaths of one of the priests and four of our brothers and sisters. That’s why we met at the cemetery of priests in Saint Paul in Ouango’‘, said a member of the fraternity of Saint Joseph.

Alfred, Pabou, a resident of Bangui, who also attended the ceremony, said “the authorities have failed in their obligations”. If the security forces had all been on the scene of the May 1 parade, this carnage would have been avoided”.

Tension has been high in Bangui since Tuesday’s violence that left 24 dead and more than 170 injured.

The trigger for the violence was the arrest of “Moussa Empereur”, a member of a PK5 militia by Central African security forces.

The Fatima church was attacked in the aftermath by armed men from the Muslim quarter, killing several civilians and Father Albert Tougoumalé-Baba.

The attack on this church triggered a wave of anger in Bangui, and raised large-scale community violence in the country.

Violence erupted after the seleka rebellion, composed mostly of Muslims, raided Bangui and overthrew President François Bozizé in 2013.


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