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Rebels free six Central African Republic police hostages

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On Friday, six police officers in the Central African Republic were freed after they were taken hostage in the capital by members of the former Seleka rebel group, a mediator and a senior presidential aide said.

Upon their release, the officers were handed over to U.N. peacekeepers , parliamentary deputy Amadou Aboubakar Kabirou, who was part of the mediation team, said.

No further details was given by him.

Kabirou said he himself was kidnapped on Tuesday while negotiating with the hostage takers but was freed on Friday.

The kidnap took place in the mainly-Muslim PK-5 suburb of Bangui in retaliation for the arrest of 26 residents suspected of illegally bringing in arms. It underscores the scale of the task President Faustin-Archange Touadéra faces in restoring the state’s authority after years of violence and lawlessness.

Since Touadéra took office in March, insecurity has persisted, after winning an election intended to draw a line under inter-communal and inter-religious violence pitting the mainly Muslim Seleka against the mainly Christian anti-balaka militias since 2013.

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