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French troops kill 2 Indians in Central Africa; Hollande regrets

Durban, Mar 26, 2013, (PTI):
Reuters

French troops killed two Indians and wounded six others when they opened fire on vehicles approaching the airport in the capital of the Central African Republic, as the strife-torn country was overrun by rebels.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday received a letter here from France's President Francois Hollande expressing regret for the tragic incident.

Two Indian nationals were killed and six others seriously injured by French troops at Bangui Airport in the Central African Republic on Monday morning, the letter said.

French troops, were guarding the airport, when the incident took place. Around 300 French soldiers were dispatched to the Central African Republic over the weekend to reinforce troops already present in the capital Bangui, which was seized by rebels on Sunday.

While conveying his condolences, President Hollande assured Prime Minister Singh of his firm determination to investigate the tragic event and assured that the injured were under the care of French medical teams.

Singh expressed his deep distress at the loss of innocent lives. He has directed that all efforts be made to ensure the safety of approximately 100 Indian nationals in the Central African Republic, mainly in and around Bangui.

The Indian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is concurrently accredited to the Central African Republic, is making necessary arrangements for the return of the mortal remains of the Indian nationals in accordance with the desires of their next of kin.

Singh yesterday arrived in South Africa on a four-day visit to attend the BRICS Summit here that could launch a development bank for the five-nation grouping.

The Prime Minister is leading a high-level delegation including Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.


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