By BosNewsLife Africa Service
BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (BosNewsLife)-- Suspected Islamic militants have killed at least 30 people in a heavily Christian village in war-torn Central African Republic, United Nations officials said Thursday, October 23.
At least dozens of people were also injured in the attacks in Yamale, some 400 kilometers (249 miles) north of the capital Bangui, said the UN-led security force MINUSCA.
It warned that the death toll could rise, as the gunmen allegedly also attacked neighbouring villages.
The violence forced hundreds of people, including apparently many Christians, to seek shelter in refugee camps in the nearby town of Bambari, according to MINUSCA officials.
It comes amid an ongoing bloody conflict between Islamic fighters of the militant Séléka group and religious Christian militias, who claim to protect villages.
SOLDIER, MILITANTS KILLED
Recent clashes reportedly left at least one MINUSCA soldier dead, while international troops killed at least six militiamen.
More than 800.000 of the impoverished nation's five million people have been internally displaced because of the violence, according to U.N. estimates.
The 7 600-strong MINUSCA force took charge of peacekeeping operations in mid-September, taking over from a smaller U.N. Security Council-backed African deployment, amid mounting international concerns over the bloodshed.
MINUSCA will eventually be boosted to 12 000 soldiers and police officers, according to U.N plans.
Yet it remained unclear whether the force will be able to halt ongoing attacks against Christians in the country.