Rebels have killed 26 villagers in Central African Republic, the worst bloodshed in recent months in a country trying to draw a line under years of violence and turmoil.
Presidential spokesman Albert Mokpeme says the killings took place about 350 km north of the capital Bangui. He blamed fighters from the former Seleka rebel coalition.
"There were 26 victims. The Seleka (rebels) went door to door ... The village chief was among the victims," Mr Mokpeme said. "It was a massacre."
Seleka representatives were not available for comment.
Violence pitting the mainly Muslim Seleka fighters against rival Christian anti-Balaka militia members started on Friday before spreading.
Central African Republic's UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, dispatched troops to the area and separated the two groups.
It said in a statement it was reinforcing its positions and stepping up patrols in an effort to protect civilians and prevent further violence.