Pope Goes to Central African Republic With Security Tight

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Armed with unprecedented security Pope Francis arrived in the Central African Republic Sundayto deliver a message of reconciliation to a nation racked by years of bloodshed between Muslims and Christians.

As the pope's Alitalia plane touched down from Uganda to start his first visit to a war zone, attack helicopters patrolled the skies and armored personnel carriers from French and U.N. peacekeeping forces waited outside the airport.

Special security forces wearing patches of the yellow and white colors of the Vatican flag were on hand to help his normal Vatican security retinue.

In a first-time precaution for papal trips, a U.N. soldier armed with a rifle rode in each of the mini-buses carrying reporters accompanying the pope.

Bangui, the capital of the former French colony, has seen a surge in clashes that have left at least 100 people dead since late September, according to Human Rights Watch.


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