Central African Republic: Russian journalists die in ambush

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Three journalists, believed to be Russians, have been killed in an ambush in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Russian foreign ministry said it was in contact with local authorities to establish their identities.

The bodies were reportedly found on a road near the central town of Sibut.

It is unclear who was behind the attack, but many militia groups are active in the CAR. The country has witnessed ethnic and religious conflict since a rebel uprising in 2013.

The mayor of Sibut was quoted by AFP news agency as saying that the three were killed at about 22:00 local time on Monday (21:00 GMT). Their driver survived the incident.

An independent Russian TV station has said the group were making a documentary about the Russian mercenary group, Wagner, which is said to be active in the CAR.

Wagner is also active in Syria, where it is believed to have as many as 2,500 fighters, and has been placed under US sanctions for its alleged involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

Russia has taken an increasingly prominent role in the CAR over the past year and received UN approval to train and arm the country’s army in December.

In 2013, Muslim rebels from the Seleka umbrella group overthrew the president in the majority-Christian country. A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-balaka, rose up to counter the rebels.

The continuing violence has left half of the population in need of humanitarian aid.


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