Central Africa Republic Grenade Attack Kills Three Before Vote

A grenade attack in the Central African Republic killed three people in the capital, Bangui, two days before the nation votes for a new president.

Three grenades were thrown at a vehicle used by supporters of presidential candidate Karim Mekassousa, the administrator of the city’s Ngoussima district, Gaspard Wilikolo, said by phone. He blamed the anti-Balaka, a mainly Christian militia that emerged after the 2013 overthrow of President Francois Bozize by mostly Muslim rebels.

Igor Lamaka, an anti-balaka spokesman, condemned the attack. “We will help national forces to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice as we are committed to do everything to ensure the electoral process takes place in peace and tranquility,” he said Monday by phone.

The elections on Wednesday, rescheduled from Dec. 27, are taking place against a backdrop of what the United Nations considers a “critical” human-rights situation, with near-daily violence by armed groups against civilians, including arbitrary murders and detentions, lynchings and rape. The Central African Republic was the world’s 10th-biggest diamond producer by value in 2012.

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