Official: 85 dead in Central African Republic rebel fighting

The communications minister of Central African Republic says clashes between rival armed groups have killed at least 85 people and displaced 11,000 others.

Charles Paul Lemasset Mandjia said Sunday that the deadly fighting since Nov. 21 has also injured some 76 people.

The fighting broke out last week in Bria, about 450 kilometers northeast of Bangui, between the two rebel groups, the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic and Union for Peace in Central Africa. It spread to Bambari.

A Bambari Catholic church leader, Firmin Gbaboua, said Sunday the situation has calmed.

Central African Republic descended into conflict in 2013 when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the Christian president, ushering in a brutal reign. The Christian anti-Balaka militia retaliated with a backlash against Muslim civilians.