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April 20, 2014

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French try to stop looting in C. African Republic

Updated Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 | 6:16 a.m.

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — French troops in Central African Republic are struggling to control the looting of Muslim homes and businesses in the volatile capital.

Hundreds of French and African peacekeepers fanned out through the Miskine neighborhood of Bangui on Monday. They fired tear gas and warning shots in a seemingly futile bid to quell the violence. The neighborhood mosque already had been thoroughly trashed by angry mobs.

The violence against Bangui's Muslim minority comes after months of brutal rule by a mostly Muslim rebel coalition that overthrew the government last March.

Resentment toward the rebels' abuses spawned an armed Christian militia. Christian civilians, though, are now targeting anyone who is Muslim.

Victims have been slain and mutilated on the streets and homes and mosques have been looted and destroyed.