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UNIFIL Highlights Chinese Peacekeepers' Role in Lebanon
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A UN peacekeeping commander Tuesday praised Chinese peacekeeping troops for their role in Lebanon.

"I appreciate your efforts and expect each one of you to continue the hard work in future as well," Maj. Gen. Claudio Graziano, commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), told Chinese peacekeeping soldiers.

Graziano made the remarks when he addressed a medal presentation parade of the Chinese Contingent of UNIFIL, which has been deployed in Lebanon since the end of March last year.

"In a very short span of about one year, Chinese peacekeepers have carved a niche for themselves," said Graziano.

The Chinese Contingent comprises nearly 350 peacekeepers which constitute a Chinese Engineer battalion and a level II hospital. These peacekeepers have been contributing toward the mission in various capacities.

Graziano added that the Chinese Engineer battalion showed "utter professionalism" during the Lebanon-Israel war last year.

"They were actively involved in various aspects and road repairing efforts in the conflict-affected areas where they repaired about 160 kilometers of damaged roads," he said.

So far, the Chinese de-mining teams have disposed of more than 8,000 UXOs (unexploded ordnance), including cluster bombs, shells, grenades and various types of mines.

Since 1990, China has participated in 15 UN operations, deploying more than 6,000 Chinese peacekeepers, nine of whom have died during this service.

(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2007)

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