UN peacekeepers killed four civilians in western Central African Republic, CAR, on Friday.
The Bangladeshi soldiers of the UN peacekeeping Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) fired into a crowd of residents in the town of Bouar.
The residents were seeking refuge at the MINUSCA base in Bouar following rumours of an impending attack by an armed group, Benjamin Kaggama, a lawmaker from Bouar, told dpa.
The UN said it was launching an investigation into the deaths.
MINUSCA spokesman, Vladimir Moteiro, said: “peacekeepers prevented an incursion by a crowd of civilians heading towards their base.
“Under the impression that this was an incursion, and since the civilians wanted to get access to the ammunition depot of the base, those who have the responsibility to protect this depot fired in the air.”
Peace in the diamond-rich but poverty-stricken nation has been volatile since inter-religious violence broke out between Muslim and Christian rebel groups in 2013.