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

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.