US condemns killing of five Indian peacekeepers

Washington, April 10 (IANS) Condemning in the “strongest terms” the killing of five Indian UN peacekeepers in a rebel attack on a UN convoy in South Sudan, the US has asked it to ensure the perpetrators are brought swiftly to justice.

“India has long been a leading supporter of UN peacekeeping operations, a fact we recognize and applaud,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters Tuesday conveying Washington’s sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and injured and the Government of India.

“We condemn in the strongest terms today’s attack by unknown assailants on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan convoy carrying peacekeepers and civilians in the state of Jonglei, which resulted in the deaths of five Indian soldiers and at least seven civilians and injuries to several more UNMISS (United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan) personnel,” he said.

Calling “on the Government of South Sudan to conduct a full investigation and ensure the perpetrators are brought swiftly to justice,” Ventrell urged “restraint among the affected communities of the region.”

“We reiterate our strong support for UNMISS which continues to carry out its mandate with admiral determination and dedication, and we refer you to the United Nations for additional details on the attack,” he said.

Indian Army has contributed to UN Peacekeeping operations around the world for over six decades and has currently over 7,000 troops on four missions.

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