Retired Indian Colonel on UN duty killed near Rafah : The Tribune India

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Retired Indian Colonel on UN duty killed near Rafah

Retired Indian Colonel on UN duty killed near Rafah


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 14

In the first death of an Indian on UN duty in Gaza, which has not been mourned by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Col Waibhav Anil Kale (retd) died after his vehicle came under fire in Rafah on Monday morning.

Took premature retirement in 2022

  • Col Waibhav Anil Kale (46) took premature retirement in 2022 after serving with the 11 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles
  • He joined the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) in Gaza as a Security Coordination Officer 2 months ago
  • He and another DSS staffer were travelling to the European Hospital in Rafah from Gaza when their vehicle came under fire on Monday

Col Kale (46) took premature retirement from the Army in 2022 after serving with the 11 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. He is survived by his Pune-based wife and two teenaged children.

The Permanent Mission of India to the UN, however, condoled his death. In a post on X, it said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Col Waibhav Kale, working for the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) in Gaza. Our deepest condolences are with the family during this difficult time.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of the officer who joined the UN DSS as a Security Coordination Officer barely two months ago.

His vehicle was attacked on Monday while he was travelling to the European Hospital in Rafah from Gaza, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General. Another DSS staffer was injured in the incident. The Israel Defence Forces, which is undertaking active operations in the area, is investigating the incident.

Though United Nations Secretary-General condoled the death, the official X handles of Jaishankar and the Ministry of External Affairs were silent on the issue. Of the 12 posts on Jaishankar’s official X handle till 7 pm on Tuesday, eight were about PM Narendra Modi’s nomination in Varanasi and one on his own speaking engagement in Kerala.

Of the three posts on foreign affairs, one was to congratulate Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of Israel’s Independence. The other two were to wish his Paraguayan counterpart and inform about Indian relief supplies to Kenya.

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#Gaza #S Jaishankar


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