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2 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Deaths in Mali explosion

4 peacekeepers’ bodies to arrive next week

Special Correspondent

Bodies of four Bangladeshi peacekeepers, killed in an explosion in central Mali on Wednesday, will reach the country early next week.

The four peacekeepers were killed and as many others, all members of Bangladesh Army, injured after their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) at Douentza in the line of duty, Inter Services Public Relation Directorate (ISPR) said in a release yesterday.

The deceased are Warrant Officer Abul Kalam from Pirojpur, Lance Corporal Akter from Mymensingh, Soldier Raihan from Pabna, and Soldier (chef) Jamal from Chapainawabganj.

Mali mission chief Mahamat Saleh Annadif said the injured four were seriously wounded and were being medically evacuated.

Soldier Jamal is the eldest son of Mesher Ali of Ghaissapara village under Chapainawabganj’s Shibganj area. He joined the Mali peace corps in May last year.

Son of Moslem Pramanik, soldier Raihan hailed from Samashanari village under Santhia upazila of Pabna. Raihan talked to his wife Sohana Khatun in Bangladesh over phone on Wednesday afternoon, hours before he fell in the line of duty.

Hailing from Nazirpur of Pirojpur, Abul Kalam was planning to retire after his return from the Mali mission. Once the bodies arrive, the troopers will be buried in their respective districts.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres conveyed his condolences to the Bangladesh government and his profound sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims, a spokesman of the UN said in a statement yesterday.

The statement also said the UN mission was reinforcing its security presence in central Mali, which has seen a surge in violence by Islamist militants, in cooperation with the country’s army as well as regional and international forces.

The more than 11,000-strong mission in Mali has become the most dangerous in the world for UN peacekeepers, who are routinely attacked by ‘militants’. The threat of groups related to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group continues to spread through Mali.

In September, last year, a similar IED explosion killed three Bangladeshi peacekeepers at the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Bangladesh is the world’s second-biggest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations with some 7,000 uniformed personnel deployed to missions around the world.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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