Bangladesh peacekeeper shot at in Ivory Coast

April 12th, 2011 - 12:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, April 12 (IANS) A cleric who was part of a Bangladeshi peacekeeping contingent under the UN has died of a heart attack and a physician has been shot at in the west African nation of Ivory Coast.

Imam Abdus Salam, who was part of the police contingent, died of panic and a heart attack last Sunday, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said.

Last Saturday, Mohammed Muhibul Hassan, a physician attached to the police contingent, received bullet injuries during attacks by the supporters of incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo.

The two were part of the 120-member Bangladesh police contingent deployed at Gulf Hotel in Abidjan, the commercial capital of Ivory Coast.

The country’s internationally recognised elected president Alassane Ouattara is staying at the same hotel.

The nation has been in turmoil for the last several weeks as loyalists of Gbagbo battle Ouattara’s people.

About 2,000 army and 361 police personnel from Bangladesh, who have been working in Ivory Coast as UN peacekeepers, are unhurt. Except one policeman, who is in UN Police, the rest are in the Formed Police Unit (FPU).

Of them, 180 are deployed in Abidjan, 90 in Bouake airport area and 90 at the base station in Yamoussoukro city, The Daily Star said Tuesday.

Bangladesh is one of the major contributors to the UN’s peacekeeping missions worldwide, deploying soldiers, policemen and other personnel.

Dipu Moni said Bangladesh peacekeepers were deployed under the UN to ensure peace and safety of the civilians in the countries concerned, and not to join their internal fights.

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