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Eight Indian soldiers, who lost their lives while serving in UN peacekeeping operations last year, are among 106 military, police and civilian personnel to be posthumously awarded a prestigious UN medal this week for their courage and sacrifice in the line of duty.'
The Dag Hammarskjold Medal — awarded posthumously to members of peacekeeping operations who lost their lives during service — will be awarded on May 29, which is commemorated as the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
The fallen Indian peacekeepers to be awarded are Lt Col Mahipal Singh, Lance Naik Nand Kishore Joshi, Havildar Heera Lal, Naib Subedar Shiv Kumar Pal and Havildar Bharat Sasmal from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) who were killed in April last year when they were ambushed by about 200 attackers near Jonglei State as they escorted a UN convoy.
Subedar Dharmesh Sangwan and Subedar Kumar Pal Singh died in action in December last year in Akobo following an assault on an UNMISS base. Sepoy Rameshwar Singh , deployed as a peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was killed in February 2013.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will oversee a solemn wreath-laying ceremony in honour of all fallen peacekeepers at the Peacekeepers Memorial.
With a 8,132 Indian soldiers currently deployed in 10 critical UN peacekeeping missions across the world, India is among the largest troop contributors.