The United Nations refugee agency says 3,000 refugees from the Central African Republic, CAR, have crossed the border to Chad over the past two weeks.

The agency says the refugees are fleeing a new wave of armed raids, looting, and house burnings in lawless areas of the northeastern CAR.

It says they blame the violence on rival military forces and bandits known as the zaraguina who rustle cattle and kidnap children for ransom.

The refugee agency says a total of 14,000 people from the Central African Republic have fled to Chad this year.  Before the latest influx, Chad was already host to some 45,000 CAR refugees at four sites in the south.

The new refugees have been staying in the small Chadian town of Maya.  The refugee agency plans to begin moving them Friday to a temporary site near the village of Dembo, some 25 kilometers away from the border.

There, the U.N. plans to distribute tents, blankets, food, and other supplies.