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India condoles death of Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd) in Rafah, UN initiates probe Rafah
Photo Courtesy:@TigerCharlii X page

India condoles death of Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd) in Rafah, UN initiates probe

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 May 2024, 03:11 pm

The Indian government on Wednesday condoled the death of Indian national  Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd) who was working with the UN in Gaza.

According to reports, he died after the vehicle in which he was travelling came under attack in Rafah.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd.), Security Coordination Officer in the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) in Gaza on 13 May 2024. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and dear ones," read a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

"Our Permanent Mission to the UN in New York and our Missions in Tel Aviv and Ramallah are extending all assistance in the repatriation of mortal remains to India and continue to be in touch with relevant authorities regarding the investigation into the incident," the statement said.

Gaza: UN investigates killing of Indian staff member

The UN has launched an investigation into the recent killing of an Indian staff member in Rafah, in southern Gaza, amid ongoing Israeli military strikes during the seven-month-long conflict, the Organization’s deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Tuesday.

A UN vehicle was driving to the European Hospital in Rafah on Monday when deadly shots were fired, killing one UN international staff member and injuring another. Haq said “there’s regular work that’s going on in terms of bringing people to different sites, and this was part of that”.

“We are in discussion with Israel to determine exactly how this incident happened and the nature of what happened,” Mr. Haq said. “I don’t think at this stage we are in doubt about where the shots came from as much as what the circumstances were. We believe it came from a tank in the area.”

UN’s ‘first international casualty’ in Gaza

“What we know so far indicates that a weapon appears to have impacted the back of a white UN vehicle, carrying two UN staff members, killing one and injuring another,” he explained.

The deceased staff member has been identified as Waibhav Anil Kale, a former military officer from India, and the injured staff member was a Jordanian woman, who is receiving medical attention, Haq said, expressing the UN Secretary-General’s condolences.

Kale “is the first international casualty” in Gaza, the deputy spokesperson said, adding that there are currently 71 international UN staff members in the besieged enclave.

“It’s very early in the investigation, and details of the incident are still being verified with the Israeli Defense Forces,” he added.

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