The Telegraph, December 6, 2013
"Christian civilians have fled by the thousands to the capital's airport guarded by French forces as the mostly Muslim armed fighters who have ruled the Central African Republic since March hunted door-to-door for their enemies and the death toll from inter-communal violence increased to 300 people. Bodies lay decomposing along the roads in Bangui, where it is too dangerous for many to collect the corpses. Thursday's clashes marked the worst unrest in Bangui in nine months and raised fears that waves of retaliatory attacks could soon follow. 'They are slaughtering us like chickens,' said Appolinaire Donoboy, a Christian whose family remained in hiding. France had pledged to increase its presence in its former colony well before Christian militias attacked the capital at dawn Thursday. The arrival of additional French troops and equipment came as the capital teetered on the brink of total anarchy and represented the greatest hope for many Central Africans. About 1,000 French forces were expected to be on the ground by Friday evening, a French defence official said. As night fell across the near anarchic capital, Christians fearing retaliatory attacks by the mostly Muslim ex-rebels crowded as close to the runway as possible, laying out their woven mats in front of a barbed wire coiled fence. National radio announced that at least 280 people had died, citing figures from local Red Cross officials, but other reports put the death toll at 300.