5-December-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Intense Gunfire Reported in Bangui

10,000 People Reported to Have Fled Capital of Central African Republic

BANGUI, December 05, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Reports of intense gunfire are coming out of the capital of the Central African Republic on the eve of a UN Security Council vote on a resolution authorizing the intervention of the French and African troops in the country.

"We have received communication from our correspondent in Bangui that at 5 am this morning, the inhabitants were awakened by intense gunfire in the neighborhoods of the north and center of the city", Valerie Kaye, a Caritas Internationalis manager, told Fides News Agency.

According to Caritas, 10,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, but there is currently no information on the number of victims.

The anti Balaka, the self-defense group formed to fight the Seleka rebels, had declared that it intended to take control of Bangui from December 1.

The militia decided to attack the capital on the eve of the UN resolution vote which will givethe African Union force in the Central African Republic (MISCA) the mandate to protect civilians, restore order and security, stabilize the country, and facilitate the sending of humanitarian aid to those in need.

The resolution will also authorize French forces in the country to "take all necessary measures to support MISCA in the execution of its mandate".

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