, Bangui, Central African Republic, Oct 13 – Thirty people were killed and 57 hurt when fighters from a mainly-Muslim militia group attacked civilians and clashed with UN peacekeepers in Central African Republic, the UN mission said Thursday.
Twelve militia fighters were killed by UN troops in the clashes on Wednesday.
The violence in the central market town of Kaga Bandoro began when a member of the mainly Muslim ex-Seleka militia was killed as he and three others tried to steal a generator from a local radio station.
“There was a disproportionate response from ex-Seleka people, who attacked civilians including displaced people hiding in church premises,” said a statement from the UN mission, MINUSCA.
The militia men also looted UN and NGO premises, it added.
“Peacekeepers immediately responded, trying to keep the assailants back, leading to the death of 12 of them,” the MINUSCA statement added.
Some 12,000 UN peacekeepers have been deployed in the country, one of the world’s poorest, following sectarian violence that broke out after the March 2013 ousting of president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by the Seleka rebel alliance.
The UN’s humanitarian affairs office OCHA said the trouble in the region was undermining efforts to provide food aid for 120,000 people as well as more than 70,000 displaced by the conflict.
Armed groups have been chased from the capital, Bangui, but continue to cause trouble in the countryside.