`Fake` UN troops in attack on C Africa radio station
Armed men, some disguised as UN peacekeeping soldiers, raided the state radio facilities in the capital of the restive Central African Republic overnight, a police source said Tuesday.
Bangui: Armed men, some disguised as UN peacekeeping soldiers, raided the state radio facilities in the capital of the restive Central African Republic overnight, a police source said Tuesday.
"The three members of the gendarmerie on guard duty at the state radio were attacked by a group of unidentified armed men, some disguised as Blue Helmets (troops)" from the United Nations military force in the troubled country, the source told AFP.
After disarming two of the gendarmes, "the assailants smashed the control panels and then tried in vain to get into the (main) studio," the source added.
The third gendarme fired warning shots and forced the attackers to leave the building, but they took one policeman hostage as they fled. When they let him go, he had a broken arm.
"An inquiry has been opened to find out whether this was an attempted coup or the work of a gang," the source added. The number of attackers is unclear.
A radio presenter confirmed the details to AFP and said that the injured gendarme was taken to hospital, but no official statement about the incident was issued by the end of the morning.
The deeply poor, landlocked country was plunged into chaos in the wake of a March 2013 coup that ousted president Francois Bozize and put Michel Djotodia, the leader of mainly Muslim rebels, in power.
Djotodia quit under international pressure after 10 months in power, but atrocities committed by his Seleka alliance led to reprisals by vigilantes from the Christian majority.
Thousands died in the violence and hundreds of thousands remain displaced from their homes.
Banditry and armed robbery persist in Bangui, but foreign peacekeeping forces have helped bring about a slow return to normal life.
However, the transitional authorities have almost no control over the northeast and west of the country, where ex-rebels, renegade former soldiers, highway robbers and bandit gangs hold sway.