UNITED NATIONS: Naik Naeem Raza, a Pakistani soldier working for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was killed and another was wounded in an ambush by an armed group in the eastern part of the strife-torn African country on Saturday.

A UN spokesman said the attack took place near Lulimba, 96km southwest of Baraka, in the country’s South Kivu province. At least one other peacekeeper was wounded in the attack, he said.

In Rawalpindi, the Inter-Services Pub­lic Relations issued a statement that said: “Pakistan continues to contribute towards global peace and stability as another Pakistani peacekeeper soldier gave his life as part of UN Peacekeeping force at DRC.”

The statement went on to explain that during an exchange of fire, Naik Raza embraced martyrdom while sepoy Bilal was injured.

In a statement released by his spokesman in New York, United Nations Secre­tary General Antonio Guterres condemned the killing of the soldier, who was a member of the Pakistani contingent of the United Nations Organisation Stabili­sation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as MONUSCO.

“The secretary general extends his heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased and to the people and government of Pakis­tan,” the spokesman said, adding that he prayed for a speedy recovery of the injured.

Pakistan is among the top contributors to UN peacekeeping operations around the world, with more than 7,000 Pakistanis currently donning the blue helmets. More than 170,000 Pakistanis have served in the operations over the past decades.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2018

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