New Delhi [India], July 26 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday expressed grief over the loss of lives of two Indian peacekeepers of the Border Security Force (BSF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel on a UN peace-keeping mission in the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo on Tuesday succumbed to fatal injuries they had received during violent protests.
The Indian peacekeepers were part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
In a tweet, Jaishankar wrote, "Deeply grieved at the loss of lives of two valiant Indian peacekeepers of the BSF in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were part of the MONUSCO. The perpetrators of these outrageous attacks must be held accountable and brought to justice. Deepest condolences to the bereaved families."
A senior BSF officer said that they were in touch with the authorities and reinforcements of UN Force (Army component) on their way to the site.
Earlier, some groups had given a call for week-long agitation throughout DR Congo. The situation turned violent in Goma (about 350 Km South of Beni and a big MONUSCO base) with looting and arson.
Both Beni and Butembo, where 2 BSF platoons were deployed, were on high alert.
However, on Tuesday the situation in Butembo turned violent. The camp of Morroco Rapid Deployment where BSF platoons were stationed was surrounded by demonstrators. Congolese Police (PNC) and Congolese Army (FARDC) troops arrived but could not control the violent crowd estimated to be at over 500.
To contain the situation, Congolese troops fired in the air and BSF troops fired smoke to disperse the crowd but they managed to breach the perimeter wall at three different places. The crowd was repelled but they gathered again. There were reports that armed rebels had infiltrated the demonstrators.
The second attack was more fierce and was accompanied by fire from small arms (automatics). Morrocan and Indian troops fired in self-defence. Sporadic firing still going on.
Two BSF personnel succumbed to fatal injuries. MORRDB also suffered one fatality and one IPOs sustained gunshot injury. Reinforcements of UN Force (Army component) are on their way. (ANI)