BANGUI (Reuters) - At least seven people died in the capital of Central African Republic after a grenade exploded among a crowd of mourners attending a funeral, the African Union peacekeeping mission known as MISCA said on Friday.

"The figure for the number who died then and there is seven," MISCA spokesman Orlando Bama said, confirming the incident.

The deployment of 2,000 French soldiers and a 6,000 strong African Union peacekeeping mission to the impoverished and landlocked country has so far failed to halt violence.

Thousands have been killed in tit-for-tat between militias known as anti-balaka drawn from the Christian majority pitted against a mostly Muslim group of northern rebels who seized power a year ago.

(Reporting by Serge Leger Kokpakpa and Emma Farge; Editing by Daniel Flynn)