Skip to content

CAR rebels siege church, kill unarmed civilians

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Men, women and children had taken refuge at church compound to escape violence

Showing blatant disregard for life and faith, rebel fighters alongside armed Muslim civilians in the Central African Republic killed several people in an attack on a church compound. Thousands of unarmed civilians had taken refuge there to escape the violence that has rapidly encroached one of the African continent's poorest countries.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 Christian civilians live at the the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Bambari. This photo shows them at an earlier Easter Sunday service.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 Christian civilians live at the the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Bambari. This photo shows them at an earlier Easter Sunday service.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/9/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Bambari, cathedral, Central African Republic, attack, balaka


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attack in Bambari, 236 miles northeast of the capital of Bangui, came shortly before French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was expected to visit. A grenade attack had injured seven French soldiers the previous week.

Church officials said fighters from the Seleka rebel movement and armed civilians from the town's Muslim community had invaded the St. Joseph's Cathedral around 3 p.m.

Get food into the hands of needy African children -- by going here!

"We don't have the exact death toll yet, but many people have been killed. As I'm speaking to you, they are still there," the Rev. Jesus Martial Dembele, vicar general for the archdiocese of Bangui said. Between 4,000 and 6,000 mainly Christian civilians live at the cathedral.

The Reverend Firmin Gbagoua, a priest at the cathedral says that the attackers suspected that Christian militia fighters, known as anti-balaka or anti-machete, were based inside.

"They came in. They are killing people," a nun inside the compound said during the attack, before hanging up.

One Seleka official said the attackers had been attacked by anti-balaka fighters in a majority Muslim neighborhood. One Muslim civilian was killed in the clash, he said. "All we did was retaliate," Ahmat Negad, one of the group's spokesmen in Bambari said.

In the meantime, the Catholic Church's Dembele accused the French forces of not stepping in to prevent the attack.

A French military spokesman disagreed, saying that French troops had intervened around 4 p.m. and took up positions between a mainly Muslim crowd including Seleka fighters and a large group of Christians when they came under small arms fire.

"We immediately returned fire and in all likelihood inflicted losses on that group," the military spokesman, Gilles Jaron, said. He declined to say by which group he believed the shots had been fired.

"Currently we are present around the bishopric to protect that population," he said.

One Bambari resident said a French military helicopter was flying over the town by late afternoon.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2017
Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.


Comments


More Africa

'God gave orders to kill every infidel' - ISIS reveals their favorite targets in sick new propaganda film Watch

Image of ISIS targets Egypt.

In an ISIS propaganda video released Monday, the suicide bomber responsible for the St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral <a ... continue reading


Was a Mali nun abducted by ISIS or is it all a cover for other, more evil, reasons? Watch

Image of Is ISIS responsible for abducting a nun?

The Colombian bishops are asking for prayers after a religious sister from Colombia was kidnapped for the home where she served in Mali. ... continue reading


Passionate Pastor saves young Kenyan girls from evils of Female Genital Mutilation Watch

Image of Pastor Stephen Lenku Tipatet travels Kenya to fight female genital mutilation.

Kenya banned female genital mutilation (FGM) in 2011, but thousands have gone underground to continue the atrocious act. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Faces of the doomed? Photographer captures women in Lagos brothel, where 1.2 million people have HIV Watch

Image of Most women are forced into prostitution by other people or their economic circumstances.

The Daily Mail has published a series of photos showing women in Lagos, Nigeria who work as prostitutes. It is believed that a quarter of ... continue reading


Have the graves of the first African slaves been found? Watch

Image of An image from 1865 shows Africans being taken into slavery. One victim is being put to death arbitrarily, or for some unknown offense.

Archaeologists have identified the origins of some of the first slaves brought to the Americas. Researchers used DNA to confirm their ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.