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Moroccan peacekeeper killed

An ambush killed a Moroccan peacekeeper and wounded three others on Sunday in the Central African Republic, the United Nations said, blaming pro-Christian armed groups for the violence.

“A MINUSCA (peacekeeping mission) military convoy was targeted by anti-Balaka,” it said of the clash in the southern city of Bangassou.

Earlier on Sunday, the UN condemned an “attack by anti-Balaka near a cathedral where a number of displaced people are living”. Two children were seriously wounded, it said.

The country is struggling to emerge from a civil war that erupted in 2013 following the overthrow of former president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by Muslim rebels from the Seleka coalition.

The coup led to the formation of “anti-Balaka” (anti-machete) vigilante units, drawn from the Christian majority, which began to target Muslims. Both sides committed widespread atrocities

On Friday, a patrol of peacekeepers was shot and one of the attackers killed, Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for MINUSCA, said in a statement, blaming pro-Christian armed groups once again.

On the same day, a Muslim woman was kidnapped by what is believed to be an anti-Balaka unit and six Christians were held by Muslims. All were released on Saturday following negotiations.

Former colonial power France intervened in 2013 to stop violent Christian-Muslim clashes and formally ended its peacekeeping mission only last month, hailing it a success despite fresh outbreaks of violence.

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