CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Muslims flee capital
Thousands of Muslims climbed aboard trucks protected by heavily armed Chadian soldiers in a mass exodus Friday in Bangui. Their flight follows months of escalating attacks on anyone perceived as supporting a now-defunct Muslim rebel government blamed for scores of atrocities during its rule of this predominantly Christian country. In The Hague, Netherlands, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced a preliminary investigation into potential war crimes or crimes against humanity in Central African Republic, saying the crisis has “gone from bad to worse” since September. Along the streets of Bangui, crowds of Christians gathered to cheer the convoy’s departure for the neighboring country of Chad, which is mostly Muslim. It was an acrid farewell to their Muslim neighbors who had in some cases lived alongside Christians for generations here and have few ties to Chad.
Clashes kill protesters
Clashes between Egyptian security forces and Islamist protesters killed two people on Friday, including an 11-year-old boy, while a pair of home-made bombs targeting policemen wounded six people on a bridge in Cairo, officials said. The violence came as protesters supporting ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi took to the streets yet again in the Egyptian capital and several provinces to denounce last year’s military coup that toppled their leader, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood. Clashes erupted as security forces moved to disperse the demonstrations.
Four soldiers dead
Yemeni officials say armed tribesmen killed four soldiers protecting an oil pipeline, in another blow to one of the country’s last sources of revenue. Oil industry and security officials say tribesmen from the province of Hadramawt clashed with the security forces on Friday while they were protecting a group of engineers sent to fix the pipeline in the southeastern region. Militants blew up the pipeline in January, and engineers have been unable to repair it since due to ambushes.
Compiled from wire reports.