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KARACHI: A group of over 300 soldiers left for Burundi aboard a PIA Boeing 777 from Islamabad airport on Thursday to perform UN peacekeeping duties in the African country.

In order to pay tribute to martyrs of the armed forces on the occasion of the Defence Day of Pakistan, the PIA plane was decorated with pictures of the recipients of Nishan-i-Haider and other martyrs and Ghazis of the armed forces, says a statement of the PIA.

The same aircraft will bring back home from the Burundi’s capital Bujumbura over 300 soldiers on Friday, who are currently performing their duties under the UN Peace Mission there. The sources said that the PIA had operated a flight last month using a faulty aircraft and as the Auxiliary Power Unit and the Ground Power Unit at the Bujumbura airport was not operational so the aircraft, which needed the functional APU or GPU at the time of take-off, remained stranded at the African country for several days, till a power unit was arranged from a neighbouring country and the plane was brought back to Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018