Rebels launch deadly attacks on military positions in Central African Republic

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Rebels have killed seven people in coordinated attacks on army positions in eastern Central African Republic, the UN peacekeepers in the conflict-ravaged country said Wednesday.

Fighters from the rebel group Unity for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) carried out simultaneous attacks on army “checkpoints and camps” in the eastern city of Alindao, MUNISCA spokesman Abdoulaziz Fall told AFP, adding that in the “clashes seven were killed”.

The peacekeepers forced back the rebels, who retreated three kilometers (two miles) from the two, Fall added.

“Currently, the Central African Forces are with us in the city,” he said. About 60 Nepalese peacekeepers had been sent to the city as reinforcements, he added.

The UPC is one of the largest and best equipped rebel groups operating in the country, and its members control many mines. It is mainly active in the east of the country.

CAR is the second least developed country in the world according to the UN and is suffering from the aftermath of a brutal civil conflict that erupted in 2013.

President Faustin Archange Touadera was reelected in December with a turnout of less than one in three voters.

The vote was hampered by armed groups that controlled about two-thirds of the country at the time, and rebels launched an offensive in the run-up to election day.

Since then, the army, backed by UN peacekeepers, Rwandan special forces and Russian paramilitaries, has wrested much of the territory from rebel control.

The Central African Republic on Wednesday dismissed the UN’s accusations as “defamatory” allegations by UN experts who said government forces and Russian military personnel had committed rights violations.

(AFP)