10 people were killed in the Central African Republic (CAR) town of Bambari, in an incident that began when a mainly Christian militia group, beheaded a Muslim youth leading to reprisals from Muslims, witnesses say.
The incident underscores instability in a country divided along religious lines by violence in 2014 as Christian gangs called the anti-balaka drove Muslims from their homes in the south.
Capt. Ahmat Nejad, spokesman for the mainly Muslim Seleka faction, said in Bambari on Sunday that two young Muslims leaving the city on Thursday, were detained by anti-balakas who beheaded one and wounded another.
He said this triggered the anger of young Muslims who have carried out reprisals against Christians.
Meanwhile, Father Félicien Endjimoyo, of the Diocese of Bambari, said more than16 people were killed, but it was not certain that the perpetrators of the initial attack were anti-balaka militia, since the town is controlled by Muslims.
There was no immediate comment from the government or UN peacekeepers.
Violence broke out in the former French colony in March 2013 when Seleka rebels seized power.
The anti-balaka carried out reprisal attacks killing thousands. Around a million people have been displaced by the fighting. (Reuters/NAN)