Fighting erupts in Central African Republic’s referendum

Bangui, Dec 13 (IANS) Heavy fighting erupted on Sunday in a Muslim district in the Central African Republic’s capital during a constitutional referendum seen as crucial to restoring stability in the nation riven with violence and division for nearly three years, witnesses said.

Gunfire and explosions were heard around a school where voters were waiting to cast their votes, Xinhua reported citing the witnesses.

Elsewhere in the capital too there were reports of gunfire and small clashes between opponents and supporters of the referendum. Some rebels have also threatened to disrupt the voting.

The new constitution calls for the creation of a Senate, limiting future presidents to two five-year terms in office, and safeguards for religious freedoms.

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