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Central African Republic president flees as rebels take capital

An adviser says the president of Central African Republic has fled the capital after the city came under attack from rebels seeking to overthrow him.

Maximin Olouamat says President Francois Bozize left the capital of Bangui early Sunday, hours after rebels launched their assault.

Hundreds of armed rebel fighters penetrated the outskirts of town late Saturday following threats that they would again take up arms against the government.

Olouamat declined to say where Bozize had gone, but said the rebels had seized the presidential palace in Bangui.

Witnesses reported heavy fighting and gunfire early Sunday as the rebels made their way through town.

The rebels had seized towns in December but stopped their advance and signed a peace accord with the government. That deal unraveled more than a week ago.