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Vol 38 No 2

Published 17th January 1997

Central African Republic

French Fire

Reports differ about how many people were killed when French soldiers launched a furious retaliatory attack on rebel positions in Bangui on 5 January but it raises more questions about the 2,000 French troops there. Some 100 civilians and 50 mutineers were killed says the Central African Human Rights League; the French Defence Ministry says ten mutineers were killed and local Red Cross officials say at least 30 died. The four-hour attack began at 1a.m., after French forces cut the capital's electricity; beleaguered President Ange-Félix Patassé received only a 40-minute warning.

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