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Central African Republic Rebels Advance Toward Capital

Rebels in the Central African Republic are advancing toward the capital, two days after announcing the end of a cease-fire.

Fighters from the Seleka rebel alliance clashed with government troops Friday in Damara, about 75 kilometers north of the capital, Bangui.

In January, a regional peacekeeping force established a buffer zone at Damara and warned the rebels not to move past the town.

Seleka began its offensive in December, seizing about one third of the country. The rebels later reached a peace deal with the government in regionally-mediated talks but resumed fighting last week, taking control of three southeastern towns.

They formally renounced the cease-fire on Wednesday.

President Francois Bozize has led the C.A.R. since taking power in a 2003 coup.

Seleka unites at least three rebel groups that say the government failed to implement peace deals in 2007 and 2011 that called for paying rebel fighters and integrating them into the army.

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