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Thu Jan 29 10:18:04 CAT 2015

US evacuating citizens, embassy staff from Central African Republic

Sapa-AP | 30 December, 2012 08:41
A soldier smiles as women march to protest against the conflict in their country in the streets of Bangui. An insurgency has swept across much of the poverty-stricken but resource-rich former French colony since December 10, posing the biggest threat yet to President Francois Bozize's nearly 10 years in power and threatening a humanitarian crisis.
Image by: STRINGER / REUTERS

President Barack Obama says 50 US troops have deployed to the African country of Chad to help evacuate US citizens and embassy personnel from the Central African Republic's capital of Bangui.

Obama informed congressional leaders of Thursday's deployment in a letter Saturday citing a "deteriorating security situation" in the Central African Republic.

The evacuation of the U.S. diplomats comes in the wake of criticism of the Obama administration's handling of diplomatic security at its consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a Sept. 11 attack.

In the Central African Republic, rebels have seized at least 10 northern towns. On Saturday they continued their advance, seizing the city of Sibut, 114 miles from Bangui.

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