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SA Air Force 'on rescue mission to CAR'

25 March 2013, 09:05

Cape Town - South African Air Force rescue team has left the country bound for Entebbe Uganda to prepare to evacuate wounded SA soldiers in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to a report.

Two South African Air Force transporters bearing rescue call signs left Pretoria on Sunday night, said Eye Witness News on Monday.

Defence Department Spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mbanga confirmed that some South African troops were killed and wounded in the CAR. He was however, not able to give exact numbers.

Latest reports say that at least nine SA soldiers were killed whilst manning a check point outside Bangui, the CAR capital that was overrun by rebels who now control the city.

"I saw the bodies of six South African soldiers. They had all been shot," a Reuters witness said. Later, he saw three more bodies in burned-out South African military vehicles.

South Africa sent 250 troops to the CAR in January to two dozen military trainers that have been there for some years, in terms of a bi-lateral agreement.

It boosted this strength when the power sharing deal struck two months ago between President Francois Bozize and the rebels broke down last week.

Bozize has since fled the country after the capital fell to Seleka rebels. He is believed to be in the Democratic republic of Congo.

According to the UN in Bangui, peacekeepers are planning to leave the CAR.

- News24


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