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Christian militia, French forces fight in C Africa

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BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — A witness says fighting between a Christian militia and French soldiers in Central African Republic has left several people dead, including some who appeared unarmed.

Dimanche Ngodi, an official in Grimari in the country's center, said the fighting began Sunday between Christian militants and former members of a Muslim rebel group. Ngodi said French forces intervened.

Capt. Sebastien Isern, spokesman for the French forces, said they are conducting regular patrols in the town, which has seen significant fighting. Isern said they were fired on by an armed group and returned fire. He did not have a death toll, only saying the group was "neutralized."

Ngodi who witnessed the fighting said French forces killed several militants. He said most were armed, but three did not appear to be.

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