FRENCH troops are deploying in western and northern regions of the Central African Republic, a day after France stepped up its presence in its former colony to try to stem violence there, an official has said.
Colonel Gilles Jaron, a French defence ministry spokesman, said the French force reached its full deployment of 1,200 today, with some entering the west of the country from neighbouring Cameroon.
Col Jaron said other French troops are leaving Bangui, the capital, on a reconnaissance mission to the north. He declined to provide specific details about their destination or how many were involved.
France had pledged to increase its presence well before Christian militias attacked Bangui at dawn on Thursday. Clashes between Christian militias and mostly Muslim ex-rebels have left at least 281 people dead.