The death toll from clashes in Central African Republic has surged to around 100, due to the violence that erupted hours after the government signed a truce with rebel groups.

The bloodshed, which left dozens more injured, dashed hopes of an end to the simmering sectarian violence which has blighted the country since 2013, pitting Christian anti-Balaka militias against mainly Muslim ex-Seleka rebels.

Shooting erupted early on Tuesday in the central town of Bria and by midnight security sources and NGOs said some 40 people had been killed with another 43 wounded.

But, the death toll had risen to around 100, according to the town’s Mayor Maurice belikoussou and its parish priest Gbenai.