AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court will open a preliminary examination into crimes allegedly committed during the conflict in the Central African Republic, the court's prosecutor said in a statement on Friday.
"The plight of civilians in CAR since September 2012 has gone from bad to worse," said prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in a statement, adding that some victims of crimes, which included alleged killings and acts of rape and sexual slavery, appeared to have been singled out on religious grounds.
The court has had a separate investigation under way in the country since 2007. The preliminary examination announced on Friday could proceed to a second investigation if prosecutors find evidence strong enough to justify it.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Alison Williams)