Indian peacekeepers bodies brought to Delhi for cremation from South Sudan

New Delhi, Dec.23 : The bodies of the two Indian soldiers, who were a part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in South Sudan, and were fatally attacked by the militia, arrived for cremation in New Delhi on Monday.

The United Nations said on December 20 that two Indian peacekeepers were killed and one badly wounded when attackers stormed a base in South Sudan on Thursday.

On Thursday, India's Permanent Representative to the U.N., Asoke Kumar Mukerji, said three peacekeepers were killed.

The UN stated a third Indian peacekeeper had been taken to another base at Malakal in Jonglei.

Two Indian soldiers, Warrant Officers Dharmesh Sangwan and Kumar Pal Singh were killed in the December 19 attack on the UN base in the Jonglei state town of Akobo in South Sudan.

A third soldier, Indian Battalion Warrant Officer Mondal Shabul was wounded in the chest during the attack and was flown to Malakal where he was reported to be in stable condition.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) held a memorial ceremony in Juba on Saturday for the two Indian Battalion peacekeepers killed in the attack.

Meanwhile, France and the United States, too, have condemned the attack. Both the countries applauded India as a leading supporter of UN peacekeeping operations in the conflict prone zones and further asked the government of South Sudan to conduct a thorough investigation and ensure that the perpetrators of the act are brought swiftly to justice.

There are around 2,200 Indian Army personnel comprising two battalions, one based in Jonglei and the other in Malakkal, Upper Nile, on the border with Sudan.

The United Nations estimated on Friday that at least 20 people from the ethnic Dinka group in South Sudan were killed during an attack by thousands of armed youths from a different ethnic group on a U.N. peacekeeping base in Jonglei state.

Fighting that began on Sunday in the capital Juba has swiftly spread, fueled by ethnic loyalties. South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka ethnic group, has accused his former Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer who was sacked in July, of attempting to seize power by force.

Deputy U.N. peacekeeping chief Edmond Mulet said that 35,000 civilians in six of the country's 10 states have taken shelter with the U.N.

--ANI (Posted on 24-12-2013)

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