Photographer captures a lynching in the Central African Republic

Earlier today, the interim president of the Central African Republic told a gathering of troops in the capital of Bangui how proud she was of them. Moments after she left, a group of soldiers approached a man they suspected of being a rebel, stabbed him with knives, hacked him with machetes and smashed his head with concrete blocks, killing him.

The crowd cheered at his death, according to this Associated Press report.

The photo below shows the man after his death, bloodied slash marks in his lower back clearly visible, while one of the soldier kicks at his head in apparent joy. Warning: The image is disturbing.


Soldiers drag the lifeless body of a suspected Seleka rebel after he was killed. (Jerome Delay/AP)

Sudarsan Raghavan, The Washington Post's Africa bureau chief, landed in the country yesterday, and has been tweeting from Bangui about the incident.

Amid heavy fighting between rebels and peacekeeping forces in Bangui, clashes between Muslims and Christians have taken thousands of lives, as some 6,500 French and African soldiers struggle to stop the violence. The country began sinking into chaos in March 2013 after a group of rebels overthrew the government of President Francois Bozize, suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament. Less than six months after taking over power, rebel leader Michel Djotodia resigned in January  after failing to stop the violence.

You can see more images from the Central African Republic, where bloodshed continues and thousands are stuck with nowhere to go.

Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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