Two officers also injured when convoy of Pakistani peacekeepers ambushed in disputed region, says ISPR
- Pakistani peacekeepers ambushed in Abyei while escorting patients.
- Pakistani peacekeepers forced the militants to retreat.
- UN chief conveyed his “deepest condolences” to Pakistan.
A Pakistani soldier of peacekeeping mission was martyred and two officers were injured in Abyei — disputed area between Sudan and South Sudan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
It said a convoy of Pakistani peacekeepers was ambushed in Abyei while escorting two local patients to a hospital on January 28.
“Pakistani peacekeepers responded effectively and forced the militants to retreat. However, during exchange of fire, Sepoy Muhammad Tariq (resident of Badin, Sindh) embraced martyrdom while four individuals including two officers were injured,” it added.
Pakistan’s peacekeeping contingents have always distinguished themselves by virtue of their professionalism and devotion to duty, the military’s media wing said.
To date, it said as many as 181 Pakistani peacekeepers have laid their lives while serving the cause of peace around the world.
“Pakistan remains committed to its role as a responsible member of the international community and will continue to contribute towards global peace and stability under the auspices of the United Nations.”
In a statement issued by Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson of the UN secretary general, António Guterres conveyed his “deepest condolences to the Government and people of Ghana and Pakistan, and to the families of the deceased civilians”.
Fighting between rival communities in a disputed region claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan has left 54 people dead, including two UN peacekeepers, the United Nations said on Monday, calling for calm.
The clashes in Abyei, a contested oil-rich territory straddling the border of both countries, broke out at the weekend, according to local authorities.
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) said it “strongly condemns these attacks against civilians and peacekeepers”.
“Currently, according to local authorities, 52 civilians have lost their lives, while 64 others are said to be gravely wounded,” it said.
It said peacekeepers came under fire on Sunday “while transporting affected civilians from a UNISFA base to a hospital”.
A Pakistani peacekeeper was martyred, and “four uniformed personnel and one local civilian sustained injury”, it said.
A Ghanaian peacekeeper had been killed on Saturday, UNISFA added, calling for an investigation into the violence.
— With additional input from AFP