Raiders have killed nine Chinese nationals in an attack on a mine in the Bambari region of the Central African Republic, a local mayor said.
“We have counted nine bodies and two wounded,” the mayor of Bambari, Abel Matchipata, told AFP on Sunday, adding that the victims were Chinese workers at a site run by the Gold Coast Group, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from his town.
The attack by “armed men” happened early in the morning, he added.
A local security source confirmed the toll and the nationality of the victims.
The Chinese embassy gave no immediate reaction.
The local authorities did not release further details of the attack, nor was there any claim of responsibility.
The victim’s bodies were transferred to a hospital in Bangui, where Chinese ambassador Li Qinfeng and CAR Foreign Minister Sylvie Baipo Temon attended, an AFP journalist noted.
Civil conflict has hit the Central African Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries, since 2013 when armed groups ousted president Francois Bozize.