Death toll in Central African Republic church attack reaches 26


Ten more people died from wounds sustained during Tuesday’s attack on a church in Central African Republic, the Red Cross said, bringing the toll to 26.

Unidentified armed assailants attacked the Notre Dame de Fatima church in Bangui with grenades and guns during morning mass, initially killing 15 and critically wounding scores of others.

The number of dead is expected to rise further, said Antoine Mbao Bogo, president of the Central African Republican Red Cross.
“We counted 99 seriously wounded, some being treated. Some are dying because there was nothing to be done, despite the work of doctors,” he said.

The attack adds to a list of recent deadly clashes in Central African Republic where state control is breaking down and inter-faith violence that has long blighted the country threatens to flare again.

Mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, sparking retaliation killings by “anti-balaka” armed groups, drawn largely from Christian communities.

Tuesday’s church attack occurred on the edge of the mainly Muslim PK5 neighbourhood where 21 people were killed last month when UN peacekeepers and local security forces clashed with criminal gangs.