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No Indian soldier evacuated from Lebanon, Govt

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) The government today said no Indian soldier serving in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) since 1998 has been evacuated so far.

Currently, 672 military personnel from the 4th Sikh Regiment are deployed in Lebanon in UNIFIL, Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed said in the Rajya Sabha.

The Minister said Lance Naik Rajinder Singh from the above Regiment was moderately injured on July 16, 2006 and not seriously hurt, as believed, in the hostilities in Lebanon.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Mr Ahamad said the government attaches paramount importance to the safety and security of Indian troops deployed in the UNIFIL.

The operational command of all troops in UNIFIL, including those of India, is with the United Nations.

The Indian government is carefully assessing all relevant developments, including the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of August 11 2006 and its follow up. ''The government is keeping all options open and will take further steps depending on its assessment of the situation,'' Mr Sharma said.

On the cvilian side, Mr Ahamad said at the outbreak of the recent hostilities in Lebanon, approximately 12,000 Indian nationals were residents in Lebanon. Out of them 1782 Indian nationals have been evacuated from Lebanon to India so far.

''Approximately 10,000 Indians who opted to stay in Lebanon remain there and there are no plans as of now to evacuate them,'' the Minister said.


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