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Bodies of Indian peacekeepers arrive in Delhi

April 11, 2013 11:10 IST

The bodies of the five Indian soldiers, who were killed in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, arrived in India on Thursday morning.

The Indian Army personnel, including a Lieutenant Colonel, were killed on Tuesday and four others were injured when their 32-member convoy was ambushed by armed men in Gurmuck in the volatile state of Jonglei in South Sudan.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed anguish over the killing of the five peacekeepers.

"I pay tributes to our brave soldiers," Dr Singh said in his condolence message to the bereaved families.

Jonglei has been the scene of widespread ethnic conflict since South Sudan became independent in July 2011. Much of the trouble has been in Pibor County, where the UN peacekeeping force is based.

An Indian soldier was shot and wounded there in March amid high tensions about an imminent government crackdown, and a UN helicopter was downed in December.

India is a major contributor to UN peacekeeping forces around the world and has suffered losses in the past.

In 2010, rebels hacked to death three Indian peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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