Local Red Cross officials in the capital of Central African Republic say at least 17 people are dead after fighting between rebels and residents.

The violence comes three weeks after fighters from the rebel alliance known as Seleka invaded the capital and overthrew President Francois Bozize.

Bozize, who had ruled for a decade, had himself come to power through a rebellion.

Residents of Bangui said they awoke Sunday to heavy gunfire rattling across the capital.

The weekend fighting left at least 10 people dead in the Poukandja neighborhood, while another seven bodies were found elsewhere.

The country's new leader Michel Djotodia has begun the process of putting together a new government, though critics say he lacks control over the rebels in the streets who are accused of looting and violence.