Chadian soldiers killed at least 30 Central Africans and wounded 300 others including women and children in an unprovoked attack on a packed market in Bangui last weekend, a UN probe showed Friday.
Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN's human rights office, said that an investigation on site learnt that the troops had "opened fire on the population without any provocation" and had continued to shoot indiscriminately at the fleeing crowd in the Central African Republic's capital.
The small unit of Chadian soldiers -- who Colville said did not appear to be members of the MISCA African peacekeeping force deployed in the conflict-torn country -- arrived at the market on Saturday in pickup trucks.
Colville said that they appeared to have come specially from Chad in order to bring to safety Chadian citizens and other Muslim inhabitants who have faced repeated attacks by mainly Christian militias.
"It appears that the Chadian forces' action was totally disproportionate, as they were shooting in a crowded market full of unarmed civilians," Colville told reporters.
"According to our preliminary findings, at least 30 people were killed as a result of the shooting and over 300 were seriously injured, including children, people with disabilities, pregnant women and the elderly, as these were the people least able to run for their lives."