French military operations launch overnight in Central African Republic | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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French military operations launch overnight in Central African Republic

Prime Minister of the Central African Republic Nicolas Tiangaye speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Paris, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. French President Francois Hollande announced he would double the number of troops in the former French colony, possibly within hours. The U.N. Security Council authorized an intervention force to prevent a bloodbath between Christians and Muslims, as fighting swept through the capital of Central African Republic on Thursday, leaving nearly one hundred people dead and posing the biggest threat yet to the country's new government. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS - France's defence chief says military operations began overnight in Central African Republic, with patrols and a helicopter detachment arriving to quell violence in the streets of the capital.

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Radio France Internationale that the streets of Bangui were calm on Friday, after a spasm of bloodshed that began before dawn Thursday and left nearly 100 people dead.

The ambush of armed Christian fighters on Muslim neighbourhoods of Bangui, the capital, came hours before the United Nations voted to send French troops to stabilize Central African Republic.

Le Drian said the immediate goal is to keep the streets safe.

"You have to ensure that the vandals, the bandits and the militias know they can't use the streets of Bangui for their battles," he said.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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