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Rebels in Central African Republic seize another town

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 5, 2013 at 10:07 a.m. Updated January 5, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.

government-security-forces-in-a-pickup-truck-drive-past-a-demonstration-held-by-several-hundred-merchants-calling-for-peace-as-negotiators-prepare-for-talks-with-rebels-from-the-north-in-downtown-bangui-central-african-republic-saturday-jan-5-2013-the-un-security-council-urged-rebels-in-the-central-african-republic-on-friday-to-halt-their-military-offensive-withdraw-from-cities-they-have-seized-and-take-part-in-negotiations-to-find-a-political-solution-to-the-impoverished-countrys-longstanding-problems

Government security forces in a pickup truck drive past a demonstration held by several hundred merchants calling for peace as negotiators prepare for talks with rebels from the north, in downtown Bangui, Central African Republic Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. The U.N. Security Council urged rebels in the Central African Republic on Friday to halt their military offensive, withdraw from cities they have seized, and take part in negotiations to find a political solution to the impoverished country's longstanding problems.

— Local residents say rebels have seized control of another town in Central African Republic, just days before the insurgents are to begin negotiations with the government in nearby Gabon.

The Seleka alliance rebels took Alindao town Saturday morning.

Jean Balipio, a resident of the nearby town of Bangassou, said by telephone that the rebels entered Alindao without meeting any resistance from government troops.

The rebels now control 11 towns. They had previously said they would halt their advances before talks with President Francois Bozize’s government. The rebels’ seizure of a new town Saturday casts doubt on the possible success of the negotiations set to begin Tuesday.

The rebels said they are seeking Bozize’s departure but the president has said he will not leave office before his term ends in 2016.

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