After more than six hours of violent clashes in Bambari, Central African Republic, Tuesday between rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) and government forces, an unconfirmed number of casualties has been recorded on both sides.
An eyewitness said the area most affected is the Muslim enclave of Bambari, saying that the provisional death toll stands at 18 while and 40 were wounded.
“Most of the wounded were taken to hospital yesterday afternoon while the corpses of some of the dead are still lying in the streets,” a spokesperson for the Red Cross who opted for anonymity because she is not the authorised spokesperson of the organisation told HumAngle from Bambari by phone Wednesday morning.
The source added that the search and counting of the dead were still ongoing and “it is almost certain the final death toll would be staggering”.
“Most of the dead, wounded and destruction were caused by mortar fire. Several houses have been completely wrecked, and the search for dead and wounded in the debris of the destroyed houses continues leading to fears that the casualties would be mind-boggling,” the source revealed.
Some of the wounded are still to be transported to the hospital because they are in areas where military operations are still going on, and access is prohibited.
“The fighting is sure to continue today because of the heavy presence of armed men in the affected quarters”, the Red Cross official said.
Since last week, government loyalist forces of the Central African Republic army, popularly known as FACA, have been carrying out operations against rebel emplacements in the interior and periphery of Bambari, forcing most of the populations to flee from their houses to sites housing internally displaced persons.