5 Indian Army personnel killed in South Sudan ambush by rebels

New Delhi, April 9: Five Indian Army personnel, including a Lt Colonel, all part of a UN peacekeeping mission, were on Tuesday killed and as many injured when their convoy was ambushed by rebels in South Sudan.

The attack took place at 0930 hrs local time in Jonglei near Gumruk, Army sources said.

A Lt Colonel and a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were among those killed in the incident, they said.

"Peacekeepers from India in UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) attacked in Jonglei," an MEA spokesperson said.

Arrangements are being made to bring back the bodies of the Indian peacekeepers.

Since South Sudan got independence in July 2011, it has witnessed ethnic strife, with Pibor county, the main base of UN peacekeeping force, being the centre of much of the violence.

Last month, an Indian soldier was shot there amid fears of a government crackdown.

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

UN condemned the killing

The United Nation (UN) on Tuesday strongly condemned the killing of five Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan, with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council demanding swift investigation to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.

The 15-nation Security Council "condemned in the strongest terms" the attack by unidentified armed persons on a UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) convoy in Jonglei in which five Indian peacekeepers and at least seven civilians were killed, the world body said in a statement.

The secretary general Ban said he is "appalled" by the attack on the UN convoy and said killing of peacekeepers is a war crime that falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

Ban also expressed his deepest condolences to the Indian government and to the families of the peacekeepers, staff members and contractors killed in the attack.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for UNMISS and the troop contributing countries and called on all parties in South Sudan to cooperate with the mission.

The US also condemned the attack saying the men and women of the UN Mission are bravely helping the government and people of South Sudan promote peace and security in the world's newest nation.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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