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Published: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 7:10:59 AM
Updated: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 7:11:50 AM

African Union to nearly double troops in CAR to 6,000 - France

PARIS (Reuters) - An African Union peacemaking mission will increase its force in Central African Republic to 6,000 men, the French President's office said on Saturday, up from 3,500 now.

"The union is committed and has deployed an African force on the ground. It has decided to bring this force up to 6,000 men," it said in a statement after an informal meeting was held on the crisis in Paris.

France is deploying 1,600 troops to its former colony, where at least 300 people have died in three days of violence between the Seleka rebel group that seized power in March and Christian self-defence militias, which has spilled over into religious violence in the capital and beyond.

(Reporting by John Irish and Muriel Boselli; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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