A local official says 12 people including three Chadian soldiers have been killed in skirmishes involving the armed Christian anti-Balaka militia in Central African Republic's capital.

Elie Balla, chief of the Combattant neighborhood near Bangui's airport, said the violence took place Sunday and Monday. He said the initial exchange of gunfire occurred after a Chadian soldier caught someone stealing his phone and fired into the air, prompting the anti-Balaka to respond by killing two Chadians and four civilians.

Balla said Chadian soldiers returned on Monday to retaliate, killing four people including a Central African soldier. Another Chadian soldier was also killed.

Members of the anti-Balaka militia accuse both Chadian soldiers and Muslim civilians of cooperating with a much-despised Muslim rebel government that crumbled last month amid mounting international condemnation.