Residents in Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, say the French military deployed into neighborhoods to flush out a Christian militia that had infiltrated the area at dawn.
Oscar Badou, who lives in the Fou neighborhood, said Tuesday the militia encircled the area at about 4 a.m., erecting barriers in order to prevent cars from circulating. The Christian militia, known as anti-Balaka, was behind an attack on the capital earlier this month which set off a wave of violence that killed at least 500 people.
Badou says the militiamen tried to prevent people from going to work, to press the country's Muslim president to step down. He said the militia fled into the hills after a French helicopter flew overhead and French troops in armored personnel carriers began patrolling Fou's streets.