Bangui: Thirteen decomposing corpses have been discovered in a camp housing ex-rebels in the strife-torn Central African Republic, a prosecutor said on Friday.
The corpses, some mere skeletons, were found in a disused fuel tank at a camp of former fighters of the mostly Muslim Seleka rebel group whose coup a year ago sparked the country`s descent into chaos.
Killings and pillaging by ex-Seleka rebels following the coup led to the formation of mainly Christian militias, whose attacks in recent weeks have led many minority Muslims to flee the country.
The bodies "were found in different places in the tank, which suggests that the people were thrown in there alive and struggled to get out," Ghislain Grezenguet, lead prosecutor in the capital Bangui, told AFP.
They were found by international peacekeepers whose suspicions were aroused by the nauseating stench coming from the site, he said.
Some of the victims, whose identities have not yet been established, are thought to have died between a week and 10 days ago.
The commander of the camp, Aboubakar Mahamat, told AFP that he had "said everything to the investigators."
Amnesty International this week warned that violence in Central Africa has grown into an "ethnic cleansing" campaign, while the UN refugee agency has described the situation as "a humanitarian catastrophe of unspeakable proportions".