French regret 'inadvertent' killing of two Indians in Africa
French President Francois Hollande has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing regret over the "inadvertent" killing of two Indians in the Central African Republic, where a rebel leader seized power during the weekend.
Six other Indians were injured in the hostilities in the country's capital Bangui, where the French have stationed some 250 soldiers. Hollande said it was a case of mistaken identity when his troops tried to defend their country's national numbering some 1,200 people, most of them in the capital.
The French side informed India's Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai about the incident. The prime minister, on learning about it, called for immediate steps to ensure the return of the dead, as also some 100 other Indian nationals in the country.
The prime minister is here for the 5th BRICS Summit.
The Central African Republic is a landlocked country with Chad in the north, Sudan in northeast, South Sudan in the east, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo in south, and Cameroon in the west.
The country of some 4.5 million slid into anarchy and its President Francois Bozize fled to Cameroon after the rebels seized the capital.
(Posted on 26-03-2013)