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Ban Ki-moon condoles death of Indian soldier in Congo

By Yoshita Singh
July 06, 2012 23:16 IST
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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed deep regret over the death of an Indian UN peacekeeper who was killed during clashes between renegade soldiers of Congo and government troops on the border with Uganda.

The Indian soldier was from the 13 Sikh Light Infantry battalion.

"The secretary-general deeply regrets the death of a United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo peacekeeper from India

in Bunagana, North Kivu, who was caught in cross-fire in clashes between the Congolese Army and armed mutineers who call themselves the M23 group," a statement from the UN Chief's spokesperson said.

Ban extended his condolences to the family of the soldier as well as to the government and people of India. The UN chief also expressed his serious concern about the situation in eastern Congo and called for an immediate end to all violence perpetrated by armed groups.

Another Indian jawan attached with the same battalion lost his life due to health reasons, according to army officials.

India is one of the largest contributors of peacekeeping troops in UN. Indian troops are deployed in Congo as part of the UN peacekeeping operations. The Indian contingent had suffered losses in 2010 when one of its bases was attacked by Mayi Mayi rebels. India has lost more than 130 soldiers in peacekeeping missions.

More than 7,300 army personnel are currently deployed in seven such missions including UNIFIL in Lebanon, UNDOF in Golan Heights Israel/Syria, MONUSCO in Congo, UNMIS in Sudan, UNOCI in Ivory Coast, MINUSTAH in Haiti and UNMIT in East Timor.

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