Ex-rebels in Central African Republic attack officials trying to re-exert control in north

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Fighters from a disbanded Muslim rebel group in Central African Republic are attacking government officials trying to re-exert control over the country's north.

The Seleka rebels toppled Central African Republic's president last year and installed their own leader. Christian militias rose up to fight the rebels, unleashing sectarian violence. A transitional government, with help from French and U.N. forces, is trying to restore stability.

The Christian militia recently declared it was laying down arms. The Seleka rebels are largely confined to their bases, but some are retrenching in the north.

Government spokesman Modibo Bachir Walidou said Wednesday former rebels have attacked officials this week who were taking up their posts, as part of an effort to extend the government's control throughout the country. Three officials were seriously wounded by gunshots.