C/Africa govt says 61 dead in Septem­ber ‘coup bid’

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

The Cen­tral African Re­pub­lic said Mon­day more than 60 peo­ple died in vi­o­lence in its cap­i­tal last month and stepped up ac­cu­sa­tions that the clashes were part of an at­tempted coup.

“The latest toll from the vi­o­lence es­tab­lished by hos­pi­tal sources is 61 dead and 300 hurt,” said a state­ment from the min­is­ter of public safety, Do­minique Said Pan­guindji, who is also the gov­ern­ment’s spokesman.

Ear­lier es­ti­mates put the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties at about 40. The vi­o­lence be­gan

Septem­ber 26 af­ter

on the mur­der of a Mus­lim driver and then spread to sev­eral dis­tricts of the city be­fore French troops and UN peace­keep­ers from the 10,000-strong MINUSCA force re­stored calm.

Pro­tes­tors threw up road­blocks and de­manded the res­ig­na­tion of coun­try’s in­terim pres­i­dent, Cather­ine Samba-Panza, who was at­tend­ing the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York. More than 30,000 peo­ple fled from their homes.

Af­ter rush­ing home, Samba Panza said those be­hind the vi­o­lence had been try­ing to stage a coup.

In re­marks broad­cast on na­tional ra­dio on Oc­to­ber 1, she de­nounced “an or­ches­trated ma­nip­u­la­tion by part of the pop­u­la­tion” to in­cite peo­ple “to rise up and res­ur­rect sec­tar­ian con­flicts”.

That ac­cu­sa­tion was am­pli­fied in Mon­day’s com­mu­nique.

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