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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande will visit the Central African Republic on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by his office, after boosting French troops in order restore stability in the country. Hollande will visit the country on his way back from South Africa, where he was due to attend a ceremony to honour Nelson Mandela. Paris raised its military presence in the Central African Republic to 1,600 troops during the weekend as waves of religious violence swept over its former colony.
By Emmanuel Braun BANGUI (Reuters) - The French army said it has restored some stability in the capital of Central African Republic after battling gunmen on Monday in an operation to disarm rival Muslim and Christian fighters responsible for killing hundreds since last week. Shooting erupted near Bangui's airport in the morning when gunmen refused to hand over weapons and French forces later came under attack by former rebels in the city center, but by evening there were no armed groups on the streets, the army said. "There are no more patrols by armed groups in the city and the population is no longer threatened by the terror that these groups caused," said Colonel Gilles Jaron, spokesman for the French army joint staff in Paris. We are still deployed in Bangui to carry out our mission," Jaron said.