Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Monday, 13 April 2009 11:02 UK

CAR cattle fair dispute kills 20


The Central African Republic government has called for calm after at least 20 people died in fighting between farmers and traders at a cattle market.

Dozens were also injured when a dispute broke out over who owned some livestock on sale near the capital, Bangui.

The cattle had been brought to the market to return to owners after they were recovered from bandits who stole them over a week ago.

An official said she had seen victims in hospital with "horrific" injuries.

Social Affairs Minister Bernadette Sayo told Reuters news agency: "Cracked heads, slit throats, bodies with arrows in them, others riddled with bullets, hacked by machetes. I've never seen anything like it in my life."

'Spaghetti Western'

She made a government radio appeal for calm in the area following Sunday's clashes.

Witnesses said the brawl was like something out of a Spaghetti Western.

Yvon Gombet, 28, told AFP news agency: "I saw a shopkeeper chase a farmer with a long knife but after a few seconds he was hit by an arrow in the stomach and collapsed on his side twisting with agony."

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Country profile: Central African Republic
04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles
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04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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