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6 Chadian peacekeepers killed in Central African Republic, official says

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    A medical worker changes the bandages of a young man who survived a machete attack, at a Doctors Without Borders clinic in a camp for the displaced in the Boy Rabe neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 200,000 people remain displaced in the capital alone, and more than half of those are children. Many of the displaced lack even basic shelter from the elements, while hunger is rampant and insecurity growing in the overcrowded and rudimentary camps. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (The Associated Press)

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    A young man who was hit in the back by a stray bullet on Christmas Eve cries out in pain as he receives medical care at a Doctors Without Borders clinic in a camp for the displaced in the Boy Rabe neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 200,000 people remain displaced in the capital alone, and more than half of those are children. Many of the displaced lack even basic shelter from the elements, while hunger is rampant and insecurity growing in the overcrowded and rudimentary camps. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (The Associated Press)

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    Boys pass the time inside a chapel serving as shelter for scores of displaced people, at a makeshift camp on a monastery ground in Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 200,000 people remain displaced in the capital alone, and more than half of those are children. Many of the displaced lack even basic shelter from the elements, while hunger is rampant and insecurity growing in the overcrowded and rudimentary camps. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (The Associated Press)

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    A rare toy sits on a bench, during a special Christmas Day mass for children, in a monastery ground serving as a camp for the displaced, in Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 200,000 people remain displaced in the capital alone, and more than half of those are children. Many of the displaced lack even basic shelter from the elements, while hunger is rampant and insecurity growing in the overcrowded and rudimentary camps. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (The Associated Press)

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    Priests and nuns lead displaced children in a dance during a special Christmas Day mass for children, at a monastery ground serving as a camp for the displaced, in Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 200,000 people remain displaced in the capital alone, and more than half of those are children. Many of the displaced lack even basic shelter from the elements, while hunger is rampant and insecurity growing in the overcrowded and rudimentary camps. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (The Associated Press)

The spokesman for an African Union peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic says six Chadian peacekeepers were killed and 15 were wounded, after being ambushed in the country's chaotic capital.

Eloi Yao told The Associated Press by telephone Thursday that the peacekeepers were attacked at noon Wednesday. Yao said that the identity of the attackers was unclear.

The Chadian contingent, which is made up of Arabic-speaking Muslim soldiers, has been accused of taking sides in the country's communal conflict. They are seen as being anti-Christian and of having sided with the Muslim rebels who grabbed power in a coup nine months ago.

The attack further underscores the messy nature of the conflict in the Central African Republic, where both French and AU forces have come under attack.