The prime minister of the Central African Republic says security forces have recaptured Bossangoa, the stronghold of the former president, François Bozizé, who is accused of leading an uprising that has seized more than half the country.
Mr Bozize, who denies controlling the rebels, fled CAR in 2013 after being overthrown by mainly Muslim rebels.
He returned just over a year ago to stand as a candidate in December’s presidential election but was disbarred because of allegations of murder and torture. His current whereabouts are unknown.
The latest advance is a further indication that a counter-offensive led by foreign troops chiefly from Rwanda and Russia is turning the tide of the campaign.