World

2 Muslim men slaughtered in C. African Republic; French peacekeepers fire warning shots

  • EDS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENTS -  French forces move into a courtyard where a Muslim man lies dead moments after he was killed, in the Miskin district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014. Fighting between rival Muslim Seleka factions and Christian anti_Balaka militias continues, as two Muslim men were slaughtered by unknown assailants with machetes nearby, prompting French forces to fire warning shots in the air but not intervene to try to prevent the killings. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    EDS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENTS - French forces move into a courtyard where a Muslim man lies dead moments after he was killed, in the Miskin district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014. Fighting between rival Muslim Seleka factions and Christian anti_Balaka militias continues, as two Muslim men were slaughtered by unknown assailants with machetes nearby, prompting French forces to fire warning shots in the air but not intervene to try to prevent the killings. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Looters take down the metal roofs from the mosque at the Place de la Reconciliation in the Miskin district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014. Fighting between rival Muslim Seleka factions and Christian anti_Balaka militias continues, as two Muslim men were slaughtered by unknown assailants with machetes nearby, prompting French forces to fire warning shots in the air but not intervene to try to prevent the killings. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Looters take down the metal roofs from the mosque at the Place de la Reconciliation in the Miskin district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014. Fighting between rival Muslim Seleka factions and Christian anti_Balaka militias continues, as two Muslim men were slaughtered by unknown assailants with machetes nearby, prompting French forces to fire warning shots in the air but not intervene to try to prevent the killings. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Residents run from gunfire in the Miskin district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014. Fighting between rival Muslim Seleka factions and Christian anti_Balaka militias continues, as two Muslim men were slaughtered by unknown assailants with machetes nearby, prompting French forces to fire warning shots in the air but not intervene to try to prevent the killings. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Residents run from gunfire in the Miskin district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014. Fighting between rival Muslim Seleka factions and Christian anti_Balaka militias continues, as two Muslim men were slaughtered by unknown assailants with machetes nearby, prompting French forces to fire warning shots in the air but not intervene to try to prevent the killings. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

Witnesses say at least two Muslim men were slaughtered with machetes on the streets of Central African Republic's capital as peacekeeping forces failed to stop the killings.

An Associated Press journalist at the scene on Wednesday said that French forces fired warning shots into the air as the one of the men was attacked but did not intervene further.

Bystanders later gathered around to photograph the victims in the Miskine district of the capital.

Some 1,600 French troops and nearly 5,000 African peacekeepers are trying to stop the violence and stabilize Central African Republic. U.N. officials have warned the country is on the brink of genocide.

Muslim civilians have been targeted by those who accuse them of collaborating with the deeply unpopular Muslim rebels who seized power last year.