Fighting by armed groups erupts in Central African Republic town, sending residents fleeing

A local official in Central African Republic says Muslim fighters have overrun his town, killing several residents and sending others fleeing to the bush.

Eric Kongbo said Monday that the fighters arrived in Grimari, in the country's center, a day earlier. Kongbo, who was himself in the bush, said it was unclear how many people had been killed because residents were too afraid to return to the town.

Capt. Ahmat Nidjad Ibrahim of the Muslim fighters said Christian militias had attacked the town and his fighters were merely chasing them.

Central African Republic exploded into sectarian violence last year amid mounting resentment toward a Muslim rebel government. French and African Union forces are trying to bring stability and the U.N. has approved a peacekeeping force.