The UN says protesters who placed corpses in front of their headquarters in the Central African Republic (CAR) were using the bodies for "propaganda".
I thought it might be performance art
"Some people are using dead bodies... to say that we have killed civilians," a UN spokesman told the BBC.
On Wednesday, demonstrators calling for an end to violence put 17 bodies outside the UN building in Bangui.
They said the dead were innocent civilians killed in clashes between UN troops and armed groups.
But the UN says the dead were armed criminals who had been targeting peacekeepers and government soldiers.
"They shot at our peacekeepers and we returned fire," UN spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said. "The bodies resulted from the clashes."