President Francois Hollande has boosted security at the French embassy in the Central African Republic. Earlier, protesters angry that France hasn't done enough to quell a rebellion in the country attacked the embassy.
Hollande on Wednesday ordered the security boost for the embassy, located in the capital of Bangui. Hundreds of people gathered earlier in the day outside the mission in an angry appeal for help from the French government.
Protesters threw stones at the building and tore down the French flag, while a local government minister called for French soldiers to intervene in the rebellion to the north.
The French government did not immediately respond to the plea for help, but did say more troops would be deployed to secure its embassy.
The Central African Republic is a former colony of France.
Rebels have pushed through a string of towns in recent weeks as they move increasingly closer to the capital.
The United Nations says the Central African Republic is suffering one of "the most forgotten humanitarian crises in the African continent."
The nation of 4.5 million people suffers from frequent incursions by rebel groups from neighboring countries, and sexual violence is particularly widespread, according to the UN.
dr/mr (dpa, Reuters)