194 Fiji Peacekeepers In Iraq Are Safe Despite Unrest

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Military commander confirms soldiers not currently threatened

By Torika Tokalau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 19, 2014) – Fiji peacekeepers in Iraq are safe.

This was confirmed by Republic of Fiji Military Forces Land Force Commander Lieutenant Colonel Jone Kalouniwai yesterday.

He said the 194 Fijian soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq, with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq were safe.

"We haven't received anything.

"As far as we are concerned, the last discussion we had with the commanding officer this morning (yesterday) is that everything is safe," Lt-Col Kalouniwai said.

"There is nothing threatening at the moment in terms of what's happening north of Iraq."

Recent reports by The Guardian stated that the insurgent group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) had taken over central Iraqi city of Babuqa, just 60 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad.

Eight people were reported to have been killed in Baghdad by a suicide bomber.

Lt-Col Kalouniwai said they were advised about the situation in Iraq and contingency plans from the UN had already been put in place.

"We have been briefed by the CO from Iraq about the situation and what contingency that they have already put in place.

"They have certain standard operating procedures that are already in place, which the troops are currently following at the moment.

"As for advice, we have always put across the need for them to be on constant alert and take the necessary precautions required of them to take whilst they are operating in Iraq or any other area."

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