The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo is opening an investigation after gathering evidence that its troops may have killed a protester, a spokesman says.
The man died on Tuesday in the eastern city of Beni, where locals accuse the UN and government troops of failing to protect them from an Islamist militia.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have stepped up their attacks in response to a government offensive against them.
They have killed dozens of people.
The UN has an 18,000-strong force in DR Congo, but its troops and those of the government have battled to curb instability in the mostly lawless east.
The ADF is one of many militia groups operating in eastern DR Congo, a mineral-rich area which borders Uganda and Rwanda. Formed by Ugandan rebels, the militia has been accused of widespread atrocities in the region.
A spokesman for the UN force – known by the acronym Monusco – told the AFP news agency that the “elements that we have indicate that it was Blue Helmets who were responsible for the death of this young man”.
In a statement, the UN force quoted mission chief Leila Zerrougui as saying the man, who has not been identified, was “reportedly killed in an exchange with Blue Helmets as he was about to throw a petrol bomb”.
On Monday, protesters torched a UN military base and the town hall in Beni, a city with a population of more than 200,000 that has also been at the epicentre of an Ebola outbreak. Six people have been killed in the protests so far, according to AFP.
In response to the protests, DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi reportedly promised that UN and government troops would carry out joint operations to protect civilians in Beni.