CAR: Rebels Set to Target Capital After Seizing Key Northern Town
Rebels in Central African Republic have seized a key town in the country's north and said on Thursday they were targeting the capital Bangui hundreds of kilometres (miles) to the south.
The government said it had withdrawn its soldiers from Birao, a town that had been controlled by United Nations peacekeepers until November 15, in order to save the lives of civilians but was preparing a counter-attack.
Central African Republic is rich in minerals but remains one of Africa's most isolated nations, having endured years of internal political stability and been caught up in the conflicts of neighbouring Chad, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
'The town is under our control,' Abdoulaye Issene, head of operations for the CPJP rebels, told Reuters.
'We have seized 48 prisoners and recovered a big stock of weapons. Birao is taken but our target is Bangui.' Reuters Africa (25 November 2010)