Troops of the Central African Republic have killed 44 rebel fighters who had surrounded the capital, Bangui, in an attempt to overthrow the new administration, officials have said.
A government spokesman told the French news agency that the soldiers had captured the village of Boda with the help of Russian paramilitaries.
There’s no independent confirmation of the government claim, which comes days after it declared a state of emergency to fight the rebels, who control two-thirds of the country.
The rebels are protesting the re-election of President Faustin-Archange Touadera on December 27.
Following the January 4 announcement of Touadera’s victory, the rebel coalition said they would take the capital. They had also taken towns in other parts of the country before the election.
The UN envoy has warned that the CAR is “at grave risk.”
The authorities have accused former President François Bozizé, who was blocked from running in the election, for the increasing violence.
Bozizé, who was in office in 2003 and was overthrown a decade later, denies the allegations.
“The perpetrators… of these unforgettable crimes against the people of CAR will be found, arrested and brought before the competent courts,” President Touadéra said on Monday.
At least 100,000 civilians have been displaced from their homes since December due to the fighting, the UN agency children’s Unicef said.