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France orders probe into killing of 2 Indians in CAR

Durban/New Delhi, Mar 26, 2013 (PTI) 22:30 IST
France today ordered a high-level inquiry into the killing of two Indians in firing by its troops in Central African Republic (CAR) as it conveyed its regrets to India, which expressed distress over the incident.

French President Francois Hollande talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also sent a letter to him expressing regret over the incident at Bangui airport in the civil war-torn CAR.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also talked to his Indian counterpart A K Antony to convey his regret over the incident in which two Indian nationals were killed and six others injured during firing by French troops guarding the airport, Defence Ministry officials said.

Both Singh and Antony expressed distress over the incident and asked France to ensure safety of Indian nationals in CAR.

Singh has directed that all efforts be made to ensure the safety of approximately 100 Indian nationals in CAR, mainly in and around Bangui.

During his telephonic talk with Antony, Drian said that France is conducting a high-level inquiry into the incident and said the Indian government would be informed about its outcome, the officials added.

The French Defence Minister also conveyed his condolences to the families of Indian nationals killed in the incident.

The incident took place when three vehicles carrying Chadian and Indian nationals entered the airport at CAR at M’Poko, French Defence Ministry said in a release.

"The French forces in charge of protecting the airport of the Central African capital at M’Poko intervened this morning in a particularly confusing situation against three vehicles threatening to penetrate it, at a time when the forces had just been fired at from an unknown source," the release said.

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