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France Questions Soldiers Linked to CAR Abuse Allegations

FILE - French soldiers stand in front of protesters demonstrating against French troops in Bambari, Central African Republic.

Officials in France say four French soldiers are being questioned in connection with allegations of child rape in the Central African Republic, where Paris maintains a peacekeeping force.

Sources said the men were being questioned in Paris Tuesday, but it was not clear whether they were considered suspects or witnesses.

The sexual abuse allegedly took place between late 2013 and mid-2014, but the accusations did not receive global attention until earlier this year, when the British newspaper The Guardian reported the story.

France reportedly received reports of the abuse in 2014 and launched an internal investigation, but did not publicize the matter. The story has has invited criticism of France's and the United Nations' handling of the issue.