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All night fighting in Central African capital despite curfew

Edouard Dropsy, AFP | Police in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui as students gathered for an impromptu march on September 14, 2015

Gunfire rang out in the capital of Central African Republic overnight despite a curfew imposed following weekend violence that claimed at least 20 lives, residents said Monday.


The gunfire was focused at a police station in Bangui, they said.

“The curfew had no effect. Fighting went on all night,” FRANCE 24's Anthony Fouchard reported from Bangui.

Several shops and homes were also looted during the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

“The ransacking continued this morning. Several NGO personnel have been evacuated,” Fouchard told FRANCE 24 on Monday.

In addition to the more than 20 dead, around 100 people were wounded in Saturday's violence sparked by the murder of a motorcycle-taxi driver in central Bangui's Muslim-majority PK-5 neighbourhood, medical sources told AFP.

The area was the epicentre of unprecedented killings between Christians and Muslims in the city in late 2013 and early 2014.

French soldiers and UN peacekeepers remain in the former French colony where thousands of people died in the violence and hundreds of thousands remain displaced from their homes.

The chronically unstable country descended into bloodshed after a 2013 coup ousted longtime leader François Bozizé, and it remains prey to violence between Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian militias known as the "anti-balaka", or anti-machete.

Although unrest has abated considerably, armed groups still operate in some parts of the country.

Presidential and legislative elections are due to be held by the end of the year, but they have already been pushed back several times as the country continues to grapple with the crisis.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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