World

More than 5,000 dead in C. African Republic before UN peacekeeping mission comes

  • In this April 15, 2014 photo, an Anti-Balaka Christian fighter stands on the front of a looted Muslim store in Guen, some 250 kilometers north of Bangui, Central African Republic. As U.N. peacekeepers prepare to go into the Central African Republic to take over a regional mission, the death toll since fighting between Muslims and Christians started in December underscores how the aid is coming too late for thousands of victims. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    In this April 15, 2014 photo, an Anti-Balaka Christian fighter stands on the front of a looted Muslim store in Guen, some 250 kilometers north of Bangui, Central African Republic. As U.N. peacekeepers prepare to go into the Central African Republic to take over a regional mission, the death toll since fighting between Muslims and Christians started in December underscores how the aid is coming too late for thousands of victims. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • This April 15, 2014 photo shows bullet impacts inside a looted Muslim store in Guen, some 250 kilometers north of Bangui, Central African Republic. According to an Associated Press tally more than double the death toll, of about 2,000 cited by the United Nations back in April, have died in the Central African Republic since fighting between Muslims and Christians started in December. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    This April 15, 2014 photo shows bullet impacts inside a looted Muslim store in Guen, some 250 kilometers north of Bangui, Central African Republic. According to an Associated Press tally more than double the death toll, of about 2,000 cited by the United Nations back in April, have died in the Central African Republic since fighting between Muslims and Christians started in December. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this April 15, 2014, photo, Anti-Balaka Christian men stand at the front of a looted Muslim store in Guen, some 250 kilometers north of Bangui, Central African Republic.  More than 5,000 people have died in sectarian violence in the Central African Republic since December, according to an Associated Press tally. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    In this April 15, 2014, photo, Anti-Balaka Christian men stand at the front of a looted Muslim store in Guen, some 250 kilometers north of Bangui, Central African Republic. More than 5,000 people have died in sectarian violence in the Central African Republic since December, according to an Associated Press tally. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

An Associated Press tally shows more than 5,000 people have died in the sectarian violence that has ravaged Central African Republic for nine months.

The AP's toll released Friday is more than double that cited by the U.N. back in April.

The U.N. and other organizations have not released a national death toll in the months since, citing the difficulties of obtaining information from remote corners of the country.

The AP based its toll on a count of bodies and numbers gathered from survivors, priests, imams, human rights groups and aid workers in more than 50 of the hardest-hit communities.

The U.N. is taking over a regional peacekeeping mission in the country on Sept. 15, five months after it was approved by the U.N. Security Council.