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DAKAR (Reuters) - About 1,000 people held hostage in a mosque amid violent clashes in southeastern Central African Republic have been freed, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force (MINUSCA) said on Monday.

"I can confirm that the mosque is now empty. The last 250 men inside until this afternoon have been transferred out," said Herve Verhoosel by telephone from Bangui.

He added that MINUSCA forces had since opened fire on the militias who had been guarding the mosque.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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The citizens' meeting

The citizens' meeting

The citizens' meeting