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Almost a million people flee fighting in the Central African Republic

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Almost a million people flee fighting in the Central African Republic

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Close to a million people have now been internally displaced in the Central African Republic.

The number of homeless has doubled since December according to the UN and represents a fifth of the population.

Most left the capital of Bangui to escape the fighting between Muslim fighters and Christian militia with many fleeing to neighbouring countries.

The international airport in Bangui is now a makeshift camp for 100,000 people. Skirmishes in surrounding neighbourhoods have prevented humanitarian groups from accessing the site to help with food and water.

Scores of abandoned homes that once belonged to local Christians litter the countryside. They left after grenade attacks, allegedly by Muslims.

Violence initially flared in March when ex-rebel Muslim leader Michel Djotodia staged a coup and forced the Christian president Francois Bozize into hiding.

Since then, the fighting has escalated, despite the presence of over 5,000 peacekeeping troops from the African Union and France on the ground.