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By Emmanuel Braun and Paul-Marin Ngoupana BANGUI (Reuters) - Rival milita forces clashed in Central African Republic's capital on Thursday hours before the U.N. was expected to authorise a French mission to halt Muslim-Christian sectarian violence that threatens to escalate into widespread massacres. Former rebels now in charge of the country said Bangui had come under attack from local militia and fighters loyal to ousted president Francois Bozize. Mindful of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when hundreds of thousands were killed as the world looked on, the United States and other Western powers are lobbying for international action to prevent the anarchy in Central African Republic from leading to major atrocities against the civilian population. "We've received numerous reports from very credible sources of extrajudicial executions," said Joanne Mariner, a crisis expert with Amnesty International who is currently in Bangui.
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej marked his 86th birthday on Thursday with a call for national unity and stability, but offered no further guidance on how his polarized nation might find its way out of its bitter political standoff.