Cathedral in Central African Republic Besieged by Rebels

Numbers Harmed Uncertain in Area of Tens of Thousands of Displaced People

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Rebels have besieged a cathedral in Bambari, an area where more than 12,000 people are displaced.

The local bishop of the Central African Republic town has launched an appeal, saying the Cathedral of Saint-Joseph is surrounded by the rebels of Seleka, reported Fides.

“In the little information we have received, there are no reports of injuries among the displaced,” local Church sources in the capital Bangui said, adding, “but it is difficult to get more information, because the phone lines with the region of Bambari are blocked.”

In the siege, claimed by some agency sources to have begun the afternoon of July 7, the attackers fired at the cathedral complex which includes a school and the episcopate.

Regarding injuries and deaths, a priest said several people took refuge in a sanctuary, but some of them were exposed to gunfire. One person has reportedly died.

The Bambari population has been living in tension for a week due to the presence of the opposing rebels of Seleka and anti-Balaka groups. (D.C.L.)

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