23 killed in Central African Republic clashes
President extends Bangui curfew by four hoursReuters . Bangui
Gunfire echoed through the capital of Central African Republic on Thursday in the heaviest clashes there for months, hours before the UN was expected to authorise a French mission to curb escalating Muslim-Christian sectarian violence.
Meanwhile, the president, Michel Djotodia, on Thursday extended a curfew in the capital by four hours, from 6:00pm (1700 GMT) to 6:00am, after a night of deadly clashes.
Former rebels controlling Bangui said they had come under attack from local militia and fighters loyal to ousted president Francois Bozize. A Reuters witness at one hospital said at least 23 people had been killed since shooting began before dawn. He saw another 64 wounded, including women and children.
Mindful of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when hundreds of thousands were killed as the world looked on, the United States and other Western powers are lobbying for international action to prevent the anarchy in Central African Republic leading to major atrocities against the civilian population.
‘There has been gunfire all over town,’ Amy Martin, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Bangui, said.
The UN Security Council is due to vote later on Thursday on dispatching hundreds of French reinforcements to restore order in the country, which has slipped into chaos since mainly Muslim rebels seized power in March, leading to tit-for-tat sectarian violence.
Central African Republic is rich in gold, diamonds and uranium but decades of instability and spillover from conflicts in its larger neighbours have kept it mired in crisis.
Michel Djotodia, leader of the Seleka former rebel alliance, is now the country’s interim president but he has struggled to control his loose band of fighters, many of whom are gunmen from neighbouring Chad and Sudan.
comments powered by Disqus
The National Security Agency gathers nearly 5 billion records a day on the location of mobile telephones worldwide, including those of some Americans, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing sources including documents... Full story
Australian researchers said on Thursday they had established the existence of vast freshwater reserves trapped beneath the ocean floor which could sustain future generations as current sources dwindle. Full story
US president Barack ObamaÃ¢€™s administration said Wednesday it hoped to expand limited training for MyanmarÃ¢€™s military but faced scepticism from lawmakers unimpressed by the pace of democratic reforms. Full story
ThailandÃ¢€™s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej urged the nation to work together for Ã¢€˜stabilityÃ¢€™ in a speech Thursday on his 86th birthday, as protesters prepare for fresh anti-government rallies following a temporary lull in unrest. The kingdom remains... Full story
India has expanded a secretive site that could be used to enrich more uranium for nuclear weapons, a US think tank said Wednesday, citing satellite imagery. The Institute for Science and International Security, a private group opposed... Full story
Hazardous air pollution forced schools to shut or suspend outdoor activities in at least two cities in eastern China, where residents complained of the yellow skies and foul smells that are symptomatic of the countryÃ¢€™s crippling smog crisis. Full story
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, assured the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Thursday that core sanctions against Iran would remain in place despite its interim nuclear deal with world powers. Full story
A Syrian activist group and an international media watchdog say opposition fighters have killed an Iraqi freelance journalist in northern Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Faysal al-Jumaili... Full story
More than 100 national and provincial legislators staged a protest on Thursday in the Pakistani capital Islamabad against US drone strikes on suspected militants in the countryÃ¢€™s tribal belt. Full story
Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a police intelligence headquarters and a nearby shopping mall in a coordinated attack in the northern city of Kirkuk late Wednesday, killing 11 people and wounding 70, police and medical sources said. Full story
Indian movie star Salman Khan will face a fresh trial on a homicide charge for a fatal road accident more than 11 years ago. The police say Khan drove his car into a group of people sleeping on a Mumbai sidewalk in... Full story
A father-of-two set himself on fire in protest at BeijingÃ¢€™s rule in Tibetan regions, triggering clashes and a security crackdown, a US broadcaster and an overseas pressure group said Thursday. Full story
Gale-force winds hit Scotland on Thursday, causing a fatal truck accident, halting all trains and leaving tens of thousands of homes without electricity as much of northwestern Europe braced for a storm that was expected to... Full story
The number of people suffering from dementia has risen 22 per cent in the past three years, with 44 million people living with the disease worldwide, according to a study released on Thursday. Full story
The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, says her government regrets the hurt caused to IndonesiaÃ¢€™s president and its people by reports that Australia tapped his phone. BishopÃ¢€™s visit Thursday is the face-to-face meeting... Full story
The troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry still has at least one very loyal customer: the US president, Barack Obama. At a meeting with youth on Wednesday to promote his landmark healthcare law, Obama said he is not allowed... Full story