2 peacekeepers killed in Central African Republic

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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic says two peacekeepers had been shot dead in fighting last night.

Eloi Yao said Friday the two Congolese soldiers were killed in an attack on their unit while on patrol in the capital, Bangui.

Six Chadian soldiers from the AU peacekeeping force had been killed on Christmas Day in the Gobongo neighborhood of the capital, underscoring how dangerous this chaotic country has become, even for the international forces tasked with pacifying it. The Central African Republic is sliding perilously close to civil war, following a coup nine months ago.

The country's presidential spokesman confirmed assailants also attempted to attack the presidential palace Thursday, but were pushed back.

Peacekeepers also discovered a mass grave near the palace.