India

Bodies of Indian UN troops killed in South Sudan reach Delhi

Coffins of Indian peacekeepers at a memorial service in Juba on April 10, 2013
Image caption The Indian peacekeepers were killed in a rebel ambush while escorting a UN convoy

The bodies of five Indian peacekeepers who were killed in an ambush by rebels in South Sudan on Tuesday have arrived in the capital, Delhi.

Four others, who were injured in the attack, were also flown back.

The peacekeepers were serving with the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (Unmiss). They were ambushed while escorting a UN convoy.

Two Unmiss national staff and five civilian staff contractors were also killed in the attack.

Tuesday's violence happened in Jonglei state, haven for armed groups.

On Wednesday, a memorial service was held for the Indian peacekeepers at the Unmiss compound in Juba.

Their bodies were placed in coffins draped with UN and Indian flags.

UN force commander Major General Delali Sakyi praised them for their service.

Unmiss has been in South Sudan since the country's creation in 2011, with a remit to preserve peace and security.

Correspondents say that Jonglei has been hit by widespread ethnic violence since South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011 - with much of it taking place in Pibor county, where the UN peacekeeping force is based.

India, a major contributor to UN peacekeeping forces around the world, contributes around 2,200 personnel to two battalions in South Sudan - one based in Jonglei and the other in Malakkal, on the border with Sudan.

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