Red Cross finds 115 bodies in Central African Republic town

The violence represents a new escalation in a conflict that began in 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka fighters seized power.

FILE: A file photo shows UN peacekeeping soldiers patrolling in Bangui, Central African Republic. Picture: AFP

DAKAR – Red Cross workers have found 115 bodies in Central African Republic's diamond-mining town of Bangassou after several days of militia attacks, the president of the aid group's local branch said on Wednesday.

"We found 115 bodies and 34 have been buried," Antoine Mbao Bogo told Reuters by phone from the capital Bangui. "They died in various ways: from knives, from clubs and bullet wounds."

A senior UN official had previously reported 26 civilian deaths.

The violence represents a new escalation in a conflict that began in 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka fighters seized power and ousted then-President Francois Bozize, prompting reprisal killings from Christian anti-balaka militias.

Clashes intensified on Monday in the town of Bria, about 300km from the southern eastern border town of Bangassou during the day, forcing about 1,000 civilians to seek shelter near the UN base, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said.