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US troops sent to aid African diplomat evacuation

Sunday - 12/30/2012, 1:13am  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says 50 U.S. troops have deployed to the African country of Chad to help evacuate U.S. citizens and embassy personnel from the neighboring Central African Republic's capital of Bangui in the face of rebel advances toward the city.

Obama informed congressional leaders of Thursday's deployment in a letter Saturday citing a "deteriorating security situation" in the Central African Republic.

The evacuation of the U.S. diplomats comes in the wake of criticism of the Obama administration's handling of diplomatic security at its consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a Sept. 11 attack.

In the Central African Republic, rebels have seized at least 10 northern towns. On Saturday they continued their advance, seizing the city of Sibut, 114 miles from Bangui.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)