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World Briefs: Airstrikes kill scores during envoy’s visit
BEIRUT — A government airstrike on a bakery in a rebel-held town in central Syria killed more than 60 people Sunday, activists said, casting a pall over a visit by the international envoy tasked with negotiating an end to the country’s civil war.
The strike on the town of Halfaya left scattered bodies and debris up and down a street, and more than a dozen dead and wounded were trapped in tangled heap of dirt and rubble.
Halfaya was the first of the area’s towns to be “liberated” by rebel fighters, and activists saw Sunday’s attack as payback.
The total death toll remained unclear, but the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 60 people were killed.
That number is expected to rise, it said, because some 50 of those wounded in the strike are in critical condition.
Rebels take another town
BANGUI — Rebels in Central African Republic have taken another town under their control just days after they said they were halting their advance.
Regional official Jean-Baptiste Manikaou said the rebels gained control of Bambari, about 240 miles from the capital, over the weekend.
Maxime Andjingbayo, a local priest, said government forces fled Bambari after about two hours of gunfire.
Rebel Col. Djouma Narkoyo called the move preventative action aimed at blocking government forces from preparing a counterattack.
Josue Binoua, a government minister, said if the rebels want peace, they should respect the mediation efforts under way and halt their advance.
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