(Reuters) - Rebel fighters and armed Muslims killed "many" people in an attack on a church compound in the Central African Republic on Monday where thousands of civilians had taken refuge, Catholic Church officials said.
The attack in Bambari, 380 km (236 miles) northwest of the capital Bangui, came just a day before French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was due to visit the town, where a grenade attack injured seven French soldiers last week.
Church officials said fighters from the Seleka rebel movement and armed civilians from the town's Muslim community entered St. Joseph's Cathedral around 3 pm (10 p.m. EDT)
"We don't have the exact death toll yet, but many people have been killed. As I'm speaking to you, they are still there," Rev. Jesus Martial Dembele, vicar general for the archdiocese of Bangui, told Reuters.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/07/us-centralafrica-attacks-idUSKBN0FC24J20140707