Residents say hundreds of women have marched topless through a town in the Central African Republic to protest sectarian violence.

Saturday's unusual demonstration occurred in the southeastern town of Zemio, with the women saying that going partially nude would bring a curse on those responsible for the violence.

The fighting in the country between Christian and Muslim militias has killed at least 5,000 people this year and displaced thousands.

This week it reached Zemio, wounding about 10 people and displacing most of the local population, which contains Christians and Muslims.

The Central African Republic has been rocked by violence since a rebel coalition toppled the nation's president last year. Widespread human rights abuses committed by the coalition led to the formation of a Christian militia.