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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Death toll from armed attack on Central African church now 26

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

Unidentified armed assailants attacked the Notre Dame de Fatima church in the capital Bangui with grenades and guns during morning mass, initially killing at least 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 have counted 99 seriously wounded, some of whom are being treated. And some are dying because there was nothing to be done, despite the work of the 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 neighborhood where 21 people were killed last month when U.N. peacekeepers and local security forces clashed with criminal gangs.

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