BANGUI, Central African Republic: French troops were deployed in the strife-torn Central African Republic (CAR) on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), while the African Union said it would nearly double its force to try to stamp out deadly sectarian violence.
Cheering residents honked horns, danced and banged on saucepans as some 200 French troops rolled into the mainly Christian town of Bouar in the west of the country.
Weary of months of violence from a rebellion that overthrew the government in March, provoking bloody sectarian clashes between Muslim and Christian communities, the residents yelled out “Thank you!” and “Save us!”
The communal violence, which has terrorized rural towns for months, flared in the capital Bangui on Thursday, leaving at least 300 dead in a wave of attacks, the Red Cross said.
Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia declared a three-day period of mourning from Sunday for the victims.