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Chad to withdraw 800 peacekeepers from C. African Republic mission after criticism, deaths

Chadian officials say they are withdrawing their peacekeepers from the regional mission in Central African Republic.

The announcement comes just days after Chadian troops were accused of killing 32 civilians when they opened fire on a crowd. The African peacekeeping mission known as MISCA defended the Chadians, saying they had come under attack first.

Chadian Foreign Affairs Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat said Thursday that the Chadians were unfairly being blamed for all the problems in Central African Republic.

He said that the more than 800 Chadians would leave the MISCA mission following "repeated accusations" against them.

Chad, the predominantly Muslim neighbor to the north of Central African Republic, already has had a complicated history with the conflict there. Many mercenaries from Chad backed an unpopular rebel government.