71 killed in Central Africa fighting
LIBREVILLE: Seventyone people, including 65 rebels, were killed last week in clashes between insurgents and government troops in northeastern Central African Republic, a CAR spokesman said Thursday.
"After the violent clashes between the two camps, the CAR military regained control of the town of Birao," CAR government spokesman Fidele Ngouandjika said in a statement read over state radio in Bangui.
"Government troops suffered six dead, 65 rebels were killed and there was major material damage," he added, stressing that there were no civilian fatalities.
But the rebel Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) dismissed the toll provided by the government, saying it was not in a position to provide a precise tally.
"This toll is inaccurate. The Chadian army, along with CAR government troops, are currently hunting CPJP elements," CPJP spokesman Bevarrah Lala said in a telephone interview from Libreville. -Afp