U.S. shuts down embassy in Central African Republic

The United States has temporarily shut down its embassy in the Central African Republic and evacuated the staff, because of a rebel threat to topple the government.

A State Department spokesman Thursday said Washington is urging all parties to begin peace talks to offer a new vision of security for the country.

The United Nations already has evacuated non-essential staff from the country because of the threat of violence.

Rebel fighters are about 300 kilometers from the capital, Bangui.

The rebel coalition called Seleka has captured 10 towns since launching its offensive two weeks ago. It has threatened to overthrow President Francois Bozize, accusing him of failing to implement a 2007 peace accord that ended an earlier rebellion.

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