The Red Cross said its staff stopped collecting bodies in capital city of Bangui as night fell but would resume over the weekend, and expected the toll to rise, a media report said late on Friday.

Violence in the CAR has raised fears of mass killings along sectarian lines. Meanwhile, hundreds of French troops are arriving in Bangui, as part of a UN effort to restore law and order.

France was hoping to have around 1,000 troops, doubling its current force, in the CAR by Friday evening.

It followed a UN Security Council vote to allow French troops to join an African peacekeeping force in the CAR.

Thursday's violence is thought to have begun when Christian militias, loyal to the CAR's ousted President Francois Bozize, launched multiple attacks from the North, sparking retaliatory attacks from mainly Muslim armed fighters loyal to the new leadership.

(Agencies)

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