Cameroon 'repels attack' from Central African Republic

Cameroonian soldiers (15 December 2012) The Cameroonian military lost a soldier in the fighting

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Cameroon's army has repelled a cross-border raid by gunmen from the Central African Republic (CAR), killing six of the attackers and capturing one of them, the defence ministry says.

A soldier and a villager were also killed in the clashes on Saturday, it said.

The border area has been tense since rebels in the CAR ousted President Francois Bozize in March.

Mr Bozize was briefly exiled in Cameroon before heading to France.

The BBC's Muhamman Babalala in Cameroon says about 400 gunmen are suspected to have launched the attack in an attempt to free CAR rebel leader Abdoulaye Miskine.

Mr Miskine, the leader of the Democratic Front of the Central African People (FPDC) group, was arrested in Cameroon in September on suspicion of planning to use it as a base to attack the CAR.

He broke away from the Seleka rebel coalition, which overthrew Mr Bozize.

"For the moment the situation is under our total control, and order, peace and security has been restored in the attacked village," the defence ministry said in a statement.

It did not name the village.

CAR gunmen often raid villages in Cameroon for food, correspondents say.

CAR has experienced numerous coups and rebellions since independence from France in 1960.

It is rich in minerals but its people are among the poorest in the world.

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