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23 Killed in CAR Unrest

A man watches a truck with former Seleka coalition rebels drive by on Oct. 7, 2013 in Bangui, Central African Republic.
Clashes between local militias and the disbanded rebel group that backed the president of the Central African Republic have left at least 23 people dead.

Security officials and witnesses say the fighting between the militias and the former Seleka rebels erupted early Tuesday in a remote village (Gaga) in CAR's northwestern region.

There was no immediate word on what triggered the unrest or who started the fighting. CAR military officials told VOA French to Africa the former Seleka rebels were able to repel the militias.

Last month, CAR President Michel Djotodia announced he had disbanded the Seleka rebel group which helped bring him to power.

In March, Mr. Djotodia led a coalition of armed groups, under the same Seleka, to topple President Francois Bozize and end his 10-year rule.

Seleka, however, has since been blamed for clashes with rival militias as well as a surge of murders, rapes, robberies and auto thefts.

The Central African Republic has endured a long series of coups and rebellions since gaining independence from France in 1960.