2 French Soldiers Killed in Central African Fighting

Hollande due to arrive in country
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 10, 2013 8:28 AM CST
French troops patrol past two vehicles set on fire by Christian mobs in Bangui, Central African Republic, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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(Newser) – As sectarian fighting rages on in the Central African Republic, France has seen its first casualties since announcing it would deploy more soldiers to the country, says the office of French president Francois Hollande. Two soldiers were killed late yesterday in Bangui, the AP reports. The paratroopers were involved in fighting near the airport, says a French official. "They were injured and very quickly taken to the surgical unit, but unfortunately they could not be saved."

Yesterday, French and African troops began disarming militias and fighters who call themselves part of a new army in the CAR, the BBC reports. Following a South Africa memorial for Nelson Mandela, Hollande himself is due in the country later today, where some 10% of the population has fled from home and more than a million need food, the BBC notes. (Read more Central African Republic stories.)

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