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CAR Moving to Elect Interim President, Violence Continues

The Central African Republic's interim government is forging ahead with plans to fill a leadership void, as fighting continues in some parts of the country.

The transitional national council says 24 people had applied to be candidates for interim president by Saturday, the last day for submissions.

Reporter Nick Long is in the capital, Bangui. He says some prominent figures are among those seeking the job of interim president.

"Some of the names that we know are two sons of former presidents, Desire Kolingba, son the former president Andre Kolingba and a son of the former president Ange-Felix Patasse. There is the current mayor of Bangui, Catherine Samba Panza, somebody with a good public image, a former ambassador to the U.N. Charles Armel Doubane."

Earlier this week, the council said it would review submissions on Sunday and elect a new interim president on Monday.

The person elected will replace former interim leader Michel Djotodia. He resigned under intense pressure earlier this month, after failing to stop violence that has left more than 1,000 people dead and nearly one million displaced.

The unrest continued on Saturday. A reporter told VOA that ex-Seleka rebels and Christian militias known as anti-balaka clashed in regions including Sibut, a town about 160 kilometers north of the capital, Bangui.

On Twitter Saturday, an international charity said 22 people were killed in an attack on a truck convoy that was carrying Muslim families fleeing violence to the northwestern town of Bouar.

The Save the Children group says at least three children are among those killed in the attack, which took place on Friday.

The CAR descended into chaos last March after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize. He was replaced by Mr. Djotodia, who became the first Muslim leader of the Christian majority country.

Much of the recent violence has been between ex-Seleka rebels and the anti-balaka militias.

French and African intervention forces have been deployed to the CAR in a bid to help curb the violence.

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