Up to five killed in fresh C.Africa violence

United Nations peacekeepers are seen stationed in the center of the Central African Republic capital Bangui, on October 8, 2014 (AFP Photo/Pacome Pabamdji)

Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - Fresh violence rocked the Central African Republic on Wednesday, leaving up to five people dead and several others wounded.

The violence was sparked by an incident the day before when a motorcyclist threw grenades injuring several pedestrians in the capital Bangui, an officer from the UN peacekeeping MINUSCA force said.

"He was chased, apprehended and killed by unidentified men," the source said.

The MINUSCA official said further violence erupted in Bangui's KM5 district on Wednesday when a "young taxi driver was killed by Muslims who then torched several homes."

A group of Muslims then tried to advance on the capital's northern districts but were arrested by European peacekeepers.

An official in the gendarmerie said the renewed tensions in Bangui had killed five people: the motorcyclist, taxi driver and three others.

The renewed tensions in the impoverished and notoriously unstable country, which plunged into fresh unrest and bloodletting after a coup last year, came after a Christian-dominated militia asked the transitional president Catherine Samba Panza to step down.

The unrest has pitted different groups -- split along religious, ethnic and tribal lines -- against each other.

Human rights abuses against civilians by mainly Muslim former rebels from the Seleka alliance and vengeful militias from the Christian majority have claimed thousands of lives since the coup in March 2013 and displaced more than a quarter of the population of 4.6 million people.

A transitional government was formed at the end of August comprising representatives of civil society, political parties and the Seleka and anti-balaka alliances but it has failed to bring stability.