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UN convoy attacked as new violence flares in Central African Republic capital


BANGUI, Central African Republic — Violence flared anew in Central African Republic's capital with four civilians killed in a late night attack by militia and an attack Wednesday on a U.N. peacekeeping convoy.

An additional four were wounded when Cameroonian peacekeepers were fired on by the Christian anti-Balaka militia who are pressing for the president to resign, said the U.N. peacekeeping spokeswoman Miriam Dessables.

Gunmen from the Christian militia attacked Bangui's southeastern 7th district after one of its members was killed there, said the city's mayor.

"The anti-Balaka attacked with grenades and automatic weapons starting yesterday and so far at least four civilians have been killed, with many wounded and 27 houses burned," said Joseph Tagbalet.

Relations were poor between the locals and the militia, who were always stealing from them, he said.

Barricades have gone up throughout the capital on Wednesday and there has been a great deal of gunfire, said witnesses.

Central African Republic has been unstable since a Muslim rebel coalition overthrew the president last year and installed their own president, Michel Djotodia, who was later forced to resign.

After many of the Muslim fighters withdrew from the capital earlier this year, Christian militia attacked Muslims civilians, who once made up 15 percent of the country, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee to neighboring countries.

President Catherine Samba-Panza has struggled to restore order in this impoverished nation where Christian and Muslim militias regularly attack civilians from rival communities.

A U.N. peacekeeping force took over in September and on Oct. 10 a peacekeeper was killed by gunmen.

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