International court to look into Central African Republic crime allegations: prosecutor

Reuters
A French soldier from the newly deployed EUFOR-RCA European Union military operation in the Central African Republic, carries his weapon as he patrols along a street in Bangui
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A French soldier from the newly deployed EUFOR-RCA European Union military operation in the Central African Republic, carries his weapon as he patrols along a street in Bangui May 8, 2014. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun (CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY)

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court will open a preliminary examination into crimes allegedly committed during the conflict in the Central African Republic, the court's prosecutor said in a statement on Friday.

"The plight of civilians in CAR since September 2012 has gone from bad to worse," said prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in a statement, adding that some victims of crimes, which included alleged killings and acts of rape and sexual slavery, appeared to have been singled out on religious grounds.

The court has had a separate investigation under way in the country since 2007. The preliminary examination announced on Friday could proceed to a second investigation if prosecutors find evidence strong enough to justify it.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Alison Williams)

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