Central African Republic Grenade Attack Kills 7 at Concert
Religious and ethnic conflict in the Central African Republic spilled into the capital of Bangui Nov. 12 when two individuals riding a motorcycle reportedly threw a grenade into a café which was hosting a concert from a local artist.
CAR-based crooner Ozaguin was performing when the attack occurred, killing seven and wounding 20, according to news24.
The conflict in the CAR began in 2012 and is complex, but is largely characterized by conflict between the mostly-Muslim “Seleka” groups and the primarily Christian “anti-balaka” groups, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
The violence has reportedly been ongoing in the countryside in recent years, but the situation in the capital has been relatively stable, making the recent attack at the Crossroads of Peace café even more significant.
“The enemies of peace … have just set a trap,” Prime Minister Simplice Mathieu Sarandji was reported by Reuters to have said on local radio the day of the attack. “I call upon the population not to slide back into violence.”
The attack provoked retaliatory violence in a Muslim-occupied portion from Christians who believed the act was carried out on religious lines, Reuters reported.
Ozaguin went on Facebook later to say he was OK and to thank his fans, according to the Daily Star.