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Indian soldiers in South Sudan fought with bravery: UN

Last Updated: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 21:13

United Nations: Despite being outnumbered, Indian peacekeepers fought with valour and prevented more casualties in the recent attack against a UN peacekeeping convoy that killed five Indian soldiers in South Sudan, a senior UN official said on Sunday.

Assistant Secretary General for Field Support, United Nations, Anthony Banbury travelled to Jonglei state in South Sudan and met the Indian contingent in the wake of the April 9 attack that killed five Indian peacekeepers including a Lieutenant Colonel and five civilian UN staff contractors.

Banbury, who received a briefing by the contingent commander about the incident, said the attackers numbered around 150-200 while only 35 Indian soldiers were escorting the convoy.

"It was clear that this was an unprovoked, unjustified and deliberate ambush against the convoy. The Indian soldiers fought with great professionalism, bravery and distinction," Banbury said over phone from the South Sudanese capital of Juba.

He said the Indian soldiers showed "gallantry" in defending themselves and the civilians in the convoy adding that the number of deaths on the UN side would have been "much worse" had the Indian soldiers not fought with "such determination and professionalism."

Banbury said the Indian peacekeepers in the UN mission in South Sudan are "upset" at the loss of their comrades but "they will continue to carry on their work in a professional and dedicated manner. We are lucky to have the Indian soldiers in our peacekeeping operations."
"In terms of the morale and feeling of the contingent, we were all very upset at the loss of the soldiers. The soldiers in the contingent are particularly distraught at the loss of their comrades but they have a very high morale. They are professional soldiers," he said.

First Published: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 21:13
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