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French Army Unleashes Helicopter Assault on Rebels in CAR

Sputnik News

20:17 10.02.2015(updated 20:25 10.02.2015)

The French Army together with UN peacekeepers mounted an assault on government buildings in a mining town in eastern CAR, using dozens of vehicles and helicopters.

UN peacekeepers and French soldiers battled ex-Seleka rebels in the mining town of Bria in the eastern Central African Republic on Tuesday, leaving several people dead and injured after an attempt to dislodge the fighters from government buildings went awry.

'We couldn't set foot outside. There was gunfire coming from the area around the airport to the administrative buildings. The clashes were violent,' a local resident told AFP.

The French forces used four helicopters as well as dozens of military vehicles in the offensive, using their force of around 2,000 troops which are stationed in the country.

The clashes followed an attack by supposed allies of the ex-Seleka rebels who killed 10 villagers and injured another 10 on Monday.

The French forces are in the country as part of Operation Sangaris, a military operation which began in 2013 after Seleka rebels overthrew the country's government, kicking out a South African military base and bringing in a French military presence instead. A United Nations Security Council resolution allowed French forces to put down violence that erupted between Christian and Muslim residents of the country after the coup.


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