At least 100 people have been killed after heavy fighting broke out in the wake of a peace agreement signed this week, the mayor of a town in the Central African Republic (CAR) said on Wednesday.
The mayor of Bria town, Maurice Balekossou, said several dozen wounded have been brought to the hospital run by the aid group Doctors Without Borders.
However, the local Catholic mission said the death toll could be higher because it has been too dangerous for Red Cross teams to recover bodies from the streets.
Shooting erupted early on Tuesday in Bria and by midnight (2300 GMT) security sources and NGOs said that some 40 people had been killed with another 43 wounded.
By Wednesday morning, the death toll had risen.
Witnesses said that fighting took place between the anti-Balaka militia and rebels from the group known as the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC) who were once part of the Seleka movement.
The peace deal signed on Monday between nearly all the country's armed groups had called for an immediate ceasefire.
Thousands have died and a fifth of Central Africans have fled their homes in the conflict that broke out after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias.
HRW report on people with disabilities
People with disabilities in the CAR have faced violent attacks, forced displacement, and ongoing neglect in the humanitarian response, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday in a report.
— Elise Keppler (@EliseKeppler) June 21, 2017
"The peace accord should bring a respite for civilians who have been brutalised in this conflict, especially people with disabilities who suffer violence and neglect," said Lewis Mudge, an Africa researcher at HRW.
"People with disabilities and other at-risk groups should get the protection and assistance they desperately need."