Fresh fighting claims more than 70 lives in Central African Republic

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At least 70 people have been killed and dozens of houses torched in fresh clashes between Muslim and Christian communities in a town in Central African Republic.

Although the leader of the rebel Muslim force, known as Seleka, stepped down as president last month, it has failed to halt waves of tit-for-tat killings.

The scale of the violence highlights the challenge facing French and African peace-keepers trying to restore order to a country that has been torn apart by inter-communal violence since mainly Muslim rebels seized power in March.

Graceadieu Bangara claims to have been reduced to looting out of necessity and told reporters “You see how it is in Central Africa, how I live. I can sell this air con motor for between one and one and a half euros and so afford to live with my child and son.”

There are some 1,600 French and about 5,000 African troops deployed in the country but peace-keepers have been focussed on restoring order to Bangui and struggled to make their presence felt to the north.

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