An attack by mainly Muslim ex-Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic has left at least 26 people dead including local chiefs and health workers, said Sylvain Dofone, a former village councilor.
The attack on Boguila North began on April 26 when the militia opened fire on a Medecins Sans Frontieres-run health clinic, causing residents to run away into the bush and seek shelter in a church, Dofone said in an interview today. Fifteen local chiefs and two MSF health workers were killed, he said.
The gunmen returned to the area yesterday and killed nine people from the same family 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the village. Dofone said he escaped by hiding in the bushes.
The country has been gripped by violence since ex-Seleka militia seized power in March 2013, putting in power President Michel Djotodia who resigned in January as part of the effort to restore stability. Abuses spurred the formation of Christian anti-balaka gangs, escalating the violence.
Thousands of people have been killed and over 600,000 have been driven from their homes, according to the United Nations. The clashes have continued despite the presence of about 2,000 French soldiers and 6,000 African Union peacekeepers. The United Nations Security Council this month approved a plan to send almost 12,000 troops to the country.
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