At least five civilians were killed when rebels attacked a town in northwest Central African Republic on Thursday, the latest reported escalation in a decade-long conflict, a local official said.
“Members of an alliance of armed groups known as the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) assaulted the town of Moyenne Sido near the border with Chad before sunrise,” Mayor Salomon Yamindji said.
Residents were woken up by the sound of gunfire as over 300 assailants stormed the town, he said, giving a provisional death toll of five.
One survivor confirmed the death toll and said one of the victims was a woman, Reuters reported.
The CPC later issued a statement saying it had taken over the town and called on residents to join its ranks.
The army, backed by UN peacekeepers, Russian and Rwandan troops, has been fighting the group for years.