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Page last updated at 07:17 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

'Ghost villages' of Central Africa

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In 2006 rebels in the Central African Republic tried to take the town of Paoua by force.

Government forces retaliated by attacking dozens of nearby settlements burning homes and randomly shooting civilians.

Thousands of families fled into the bush leaving a vast expanse of "ghost villages" that stretches for 50 kilometres (31 miles).

The BBC's Mike Thomson went in search of the missing people.

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