PARIS, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- French troops killed several unidentified armed men in the airport of Bangui during the first day of Sangaris operation in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to local reports.
Citing the military spokesman, the colonel Gilles Jarron, French daily le Monde reported that "armed men in a pick-up opened fire yesterday (Thursday) morning on French troops deployed in Bangui airport."
"(French soldiers) hit back. The pick-up was destroyed and the men were killed," Jaron added without elaborating.
In its website, the Defense Ministry said French servicemen and about 2,000 people who fled the bloody battle to the airport were safe but it did not give further details neither on the number of attackers nor on their identity.
France's force "has effectively started" the military intervention in the African country as one company had arrived in Bangui from a French base in nearby Gabon, and a helicopter group was due to be in place later in the day, according to the Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
On Thursday, French President Francois Hollande announced an immediate action in CAR shortly after the United Nations authorized the use of force in the African country.
Paris which seeks a brief operation, the second in the African continent this year, said it would double its troops to 1,200 in the Central African Republic.