Former Muslim rebels take over town in northern Central African Republic, officials say
A family who fled recent violence arrives at a camp for the internally-displaced in the town of Bouca, Central African Republic, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. (AP / Florence Richard
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, April 23, 2014 2:53PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 23, 2014 2:58PM EDT
BANGUI - Officials say Muslim rebels have taken control of a town in northern Central African Republic, causing residents to flee.
Local official Jerome Gouma said heavily armed men arrived in Bouca on Tuesday, and shooting lasted into the night. On Wednesday, he said residents didn't dare go into the streets.
Aubin Ndontibaye, a local priest, said hundreds fled or were sheltering at a Catholic mission in Bouca, 180 miles (290 kilometres) north of the capital, Bangui.
The arrival in Bouca of the militants, former members of the rebel movement known as Seleka, is a worrying sign that comes two months after the Seleka left most towns.
Central African Republic exploded into sectarian violence last year amid mounting resentment toward a government led by Seleka. International forces are trying to restore calm.