SANDF confirms casualties in CAR

The SANDF confirms there are casualties in the Seleka rebel take-over in the CAR.

Rebels of the SELEKA coalition in the Central African Republic patrol on a road 12kms from the city of Damar, on January 10, 2013. Picture: AFP

BANGUI - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said on Sunday it is still trying to establish how many of the country's soldiers have been killed and wounded during the rebel take-over of the Central African Republic capital Bangui.

The Seleka rebels seized the presidential palace on Sunday, forcing President Francois Bozize to flee into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, government officials said.

The SANDF has however confirmed that there have been fatalities and casualties.

It was reported earlier that at least six South African soldiers have been killed in this weekend's violence.

South Africa defence chiefs are currently reliant on French forces holding on to the international airport in Bangui.

Even then they will need help flying their troops out.

SANDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga confirmed there have been fatalities and casualties but said he could not give exact figures.

250 South Africans went in two months ago to guard two-dozen military trainers in the capital.

The contingent was reinforced when the power sharing deal struck between CAR President Francois Bozize and the Seleka rebels broke down last week.

The South Africans were manning a check point that was taken by rebels.

There is no immediate indication how the survivors will be evacuated.