News Desk : dhakamirror.com
Three Bangladesh Army soldiers deployed in the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic were killed and an officer was injured in an explosion of an improvised explosive device during their routine patrolling on a military vehicle on Tuesday.
The Inter-Services Public Relations, in a statement, identified the peacekeepers as soldier Jasim Uddin, 31, of Brahmanbaria, soldier Jahangir Alam, 26, of Nilphamari and soldier Sharif Hossain, 26, of Sirajganj.
Their patrol commander, Major Ashraful Haque, also sustained injuries.
The ISPR stated that an ‘improvised explosive device’ went off at 8:35pm local time on Monday (Bangladesh time 1:35am on Tuesday) during the operation of the UN peacekeeping mission.
The team of mechanised patrols, led by Major Ashraful, went on patrol in the Kaita area at 7:30pm on Monday. On their way back, the first vehicle carrying patrol commander Major Ashraf ran over the IED planted on the ground and it went off.
The vehicle skidded off the road about 15 feet away, said the ISPR statement.
Soldier Sharif, soldier Jahangir, and soldier Jasim sustained serious injuries.
Immediately after the incident, the ISPR stated that injured peacekeepers were given first aid on an emergency basis, and all-out efforts were made to rescue the injured peacekeepers in remote areas amid inclement weather and thick darkness.
With the joint efforts of the mission headquarters, the UN headquarters, and the concerned departments of the Central African Republic government, they were rushed to Minuska Hospital located at Bouar, some 144 kilometres from the spot, where the on-duty doctor declared three soldiers dead.
Injured Major Ashraful was still undergoing treatment and his condition remained stable, said ISPR.
The ISPR said that an infantry battalion called BANBAT-8 of the Bangladesh Army deployed in the Bouar area in the western sector of the Central African Republic had been engaged in peacekeeping operations across a wide area since November 9, 2021.
Other peacekeepers deployed in the Central African Republic are safe while the process of bringing the bodies of the soldiers to Dhaka in the fastest possible time is underway, said ISPR.
According to the army headquarters, 161 officials and rankers, including 139 members of the armed forces and 22 police, sacrificed their lives in peacekeeping missions as of May 23, 2022.
At least 252 personnel have sustained critical injuries since the country started contributing to UN peacekeeping missions by sending a group of officers to the United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observers Group in 1988.
According to army headquarters, until May 2022, 6,825 officials and rankers are currently serving in the UN missions in 14 countries, while 1,833,378 others have so far completed their 54 missions in different capacities in 43 countries once or multiple times.
Bangladesh was the leading troop-contributing country to UN peacekeeping missions in 2011, 2014 and 2015.