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Dozens dead in Central African Republic clashes

BANGUI, Central African Republic — Clashes in Central African Republic involving fighters believed to be loyal to ousted President Francois Bozize killed dozens of people and displaced tens of thousands over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The fighting occurred in the west of the country, a region that in recent months has been the site of multiple massacres allegedly carried out by the Seleka coalition of fighters who toppled Bozize in March. Seleka leader Michel Djotodia was sworn in as president last month and vowed to return the country to democracy by organizing elections within 18 months.

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Guy Simplice Kodegue, a presidential spokesman, said 60 people had been killed in the latest fighting, which he said had been initiated by pro-Bozize fighters.

He said a column of army soldiers supported by Seleka fighters had been dispatched to the region from Bangui, the capital, to stop the assailants.

Seleka is made up primarily of fighters from the country’s predominantly Muslim north, and some observers have said the group only targets Christian villages.

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