US nationals pulled out of 'a violent situation'

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The Independent Online
The United States has started evacuating its nationals from Central African Republic following an army mutiny, US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, said yesterday, writes Christopher Bellamy.

Mr Christopher said the US was working with France, which has 1,400 troops in the country, to try to restore calm following Saturday's revolt against President Ange-Felix Patasse. The soldiers accused him of transferring the army's weapons to his Presidential Guard.

"It's a violent situation. We're concerned about American personnel and we're trying to do everything we can to ensure their safety," Mr Christopher said. Earlier yesterday a US plane landed Marines in the capital, Bangui, to help protect the US embassy.

The French Foreign Ministry denied reports that French soldiers had been killed on Monday. The French said their troops were still protecting about 2,000 French and other European expatriates.