The priest who was shot dead inside a church earlier today in the Central African Republic has been named as Albert Toungoumalé Baba.
Local clergy have confirmed that he was among those killed by unidentified gunmen in an attack on Notre Dame de Fatima cathedral in the capital, Bangui.
At least six people have been confirmed dead.
An angry crowd of around 1,000 people reportedly gathered as the priest’s body was carried to the presidential palace in protest, says Reuters new agency.
Local journalist Emery Elvis Pabandji tweeted photos of the scene earlier:
#CARcrisis #Centrafrique #Fatima le corps de l'abbé Toungoumalet Baba Albert en direction du palais, le Cardinal Nzapalainga, dans un message lu par le chancelier Brad Mazangue, sur RADIO Notre Dame exhorte la population de rester dans la prière. pic.twitter.com/0ZvOfc74wc
— Emery Elvis PABANDJI (@emerypabandji) May 1, 2018
The identity of the gunmen was not known but the attack happened on the border of the predominantly Muslim PK5 neighbourhood, where 21 people were killed last month when a joint mission by UN peacekeepers and local security forces to disarm criminal gangs descended into open fighting.
Angry demonstrators, who blamed UN soldiers for firing on residents protesting against the operation, carried the bodies of the dead to Minusca’s gates.
AFP reports that fighting between militia and security forces has erupted again in the PK5 district today. Security sources told the news agency that the fighting started after men in a militia group, led by an individual calling himself Force, rammed through a roadblock.
Security guards opened fire, and the militiamen responded.