At least 34 people have been killed over the last week in a series of attacks by Muslim rebels on remote villages in Central African Republic (CAR), Mbres Mayor Bienvenu Sarapata announced on Saturday.
Mr Sarapata, whose sub-prefecture is around 250 miles north of the capital Bangui, said former Seleka rebel group members had carried out the attacks.
Seleka, which seized power in March 2013, was formally disbanded that September, shortly before its leader Michel Djotodia resigned as president amid spiralling sectarian violence, but former members continue to harass settlements in northern CAR.
An officer from African peacekeeping force Misca told reporters that fleeing residents had reported the attackers were “on their victims at point-blank range and chasing them into the bush and some of the victims died by hanging. Others were beaten or tortured to death.”
UN peacekeepers are due to arrive in the conflict-wracked country next month, but the men reportedly threatened to attack more villages before it is deployed.