- Expressing regret for the deaths, it put the blame on rebels it said its soldiers had been pursuing and suggested Chad and the CAR -- "two brotherly peoples" -- hold a joint investigation.
N'DJAMENA: Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) were at loggerheads on Monday after the Chadian government accused its southern neighbour of killing six of its soldiers at a border post, five of whom were allegedly abducted and then executed, branding it a "war crime" that would "not go unpunished".
Hours after the accusation, the CAR said there had been "exchanges of fire... at the border", with fatalities on both sides.
Expressing regret for the deaths, it put the blame on rebels it said its soldiers had been pursuing and suggested Chad and the CAR -- "two brotherly peoples" -- hold a joint investigation.
The incident has placed the spotlight on the occasionally fraught relations between Chad -- ruled by a junta since its veteran ruler was killed six weeks ago -- and the CAR, an impoverished, unstable country battling powerful armed groups.
"The Central African armed forces attacked the outpost of Sourou in Chad on Sunday morning... They killed a Chadian soldier, injured five and kidnapped five others who were then executed in Mbang on the Central African Republic side," Chadian Foreign Minister Cherif Mahamat Zene said in a statement.
The CAR regularly accuses its northern neighbour of supporting armed rebel groups from inside Chad.