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French journalist killed in CAR

May 13, 2014

Paris has released a statement condemning the murder of a French journalist in the Central African Republic. President Francois Hollande's office pledged to do everything to "uncover the circumstances."

French journalist Camille Lepage, 26, has been killed while on a reporting assignment in Central African Republic, French President Francois Hollande said on May 13, 2014 in a statement, vowing to make every effort to shed light on the murder. 'The body of Miss Lepage was found by a patrol of Sangaris troops while checking a vehicle driven by anti-Balaka militia in the region of Bouar' in west of the country, it said, referring to militamen from the mainly Christian vigilante group. (Photo: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Image: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

The French president's office announced on Tuesday a photojournalist had been murdered while on assignment in the Central African Republic.

The statement confirmed the killing of Camille Lepage, believed to be from the city of Angers, in western France. She had been covering the crisis in CAR for several months.

"The corpse of (Camille) Lepage was found after a patrol by (French) Sangaris troops stopped a car driven by anti-balaka groups, in the Bouar region," the statement said. "Everything will be done to uncover the circumstances of this assassination and to track down who murdered our compatriot."

News agencies reported that her colleagues in the capital, Bangui, said Lepage had been traveling in a village around 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of Bouar, close to the border with Cameroon, when she was caught up in the fighting.

The former French colony descended into sectarian violence after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March last year.

French and African troops were sent to the country to contain the violence, but thousands of civilians are believed to have died in the heavy fighting between Muslims and Christians.

The displacement of tens of thousands of people was also described as 'ethnic cleansing' by the UN.

lw/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)