Centrafrique: Four people lynched in Central African Republic’s capital

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Four people were killed by mobs in Central African Republic’s capital Bangui on Thursday, witnesses said, in escalating religious violence that could threaten a December election.

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That brings this week’s death toll to 11, including three senior negotiators for the Muslim Seleka alliance visiting the capital for peace talks aimed at resolving a two-year conflict.

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The spike in violence might wreck plans to hold long-delayed elections this year, as former colonial power France and other Western countries push for an end to a transition period. The electoral commission on Wednesday set Dec. 13 as the date for both presidential and parliamentary elections.

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Witnesses say three Muslims were attacked early on Thursday as they left the city’s only Muslim enclave, PK5, to enter the Christian sixth district.

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Two of them were killed immediately and their bodies chopped into small pieces, witnesses said. A third man escaped but was then stoned to death by a crowd and his body left by a church, the witnesses said.

“I am shocked by what I saw,” said a woman from the sixth district, who asked to remain anonymous. “Even children were stoning the man who moaned and begged for mercy before dying.”

In an apparent act of retaliation, a Christian was killed later in the morning as he entered PK5, according to residents and family members visiting his body in the morgue.

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