BANGUI, Central African Republic, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday much of the healthcare system in the Central African Republic was wiped out by banditry.
The ICRC said it was working alongside its partners in the Central African Red Cross Society to respond to the needs of those "hard hit by continuing armed clashes" in parts of the country west of the capital Bangui.
"Thousands of people have seen their villages set ablaze and had to flee into the bush or to safer places such as school buildings or places of worship," regional ICRC delegate Christian Mehl said in a statement.
The Red Cross said its personnel in CAR were administering first aid to some of the civilians seriously injured by ongoing fighting. It said more than 50 bodies were buried after their identities were confirmed.
ICRC health coordinator for CAR Bonaventure Bazirutwabo said the medical system in the country was devastated.
"Medical supplies and ambulances have been damaged or stolen, and they have not been replaced," he said. "There are only seven surgeons in this country of over 4 million people, and all of them are in Bangui."
The rebel Seleka coalition is accused of war crimes in its early 2013 move to topple the government in CAR. The International Criminal Court last month said it was investigating the situation.