The United Nations says unidentified gunmen ambushed U.N. peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday , killing nine Bangladeshi troops. U.N. spokesman Mamdou Bah said the attack took place near the town of Kafe in Congo's northeastern Ituri region. The Bangladeshi troops were ambushed while on foot patrol to provide security for a camp housing Congolese civilians displaced by persistent fighting in Ituri. Several other soldiers were wounded in the attack -- the deadliest on the 16,000-strong peacekeeping mission since it began deploying in 1999. The U.N. says the attack was premeditated and accused local armed groups -- which it did not name -- of being behind the killings. It also says the violence will not deter peacekeepers from neutralizing militias and protecting civilians.
The soldiers have been identified as Captain Shahid Ashraf Khan, Warrant Officer M Sohrab Hossain Talukdar, Sergeant Sirajul Islam, Corporal M Atwar Rahman Sarkar, Leading Seaman Nurul Islam and sepoys Mohammad Abdus Salam, Mohammad Abdus Salam (II), Mohammad Zahirul Islam and Mohammad Bellal Hossain.
Bangladesh's President, Iajuddin Ahmed, the prime minister, Khaleda Zia, and the leader of the opposition in parliament, Sheikh Hasina, in separate statements condoled on the death.