French troops kill 4 seleka fighters in Bangui

BANGUI – Four seleka fighters were killed Saturday by French troops in Ndele, 600km north of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.

The fatalities occurred during a mission by French troops to disarm seleka fighters in the city.

The Central African Republic descended into anarchy in March 2013 when Seleka rebels removed Francois Bozize, who had come to power in a 2003 coup. The rebels later installed Michel Djotodia, a Muslim, as interim president.

In the months since, the country has been plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between Christian anti-balaka militias and former seleka fighters.

Anti-Muslim violence has escalated since Catherine Samba-Panza, a Christian, was elected interim president in January.

Christians, who account for the majority of the country`s population, accuse Muslims of supporting former seleka rebels blamed for attacking Christian homes, looting property and carrying out summary executions.

Along with French troops, there are also some 6000 African peacekeeping troops currently deployed in the country.

The country`s Muslims have repeatedly accused foreign peacekeeping troops of failing to disarm anti-balaka militants.

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