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China to Send 2nd Troop of UN Peacekeepers to Lebanon
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China will send a second force to join the UN peacekeeping operation in southern Lebanon this month, sources with the Chengdu Military Area Command said on Thursday.


The 275 peacekeepers will take a UN chartered flight from Kunming, capital of southwest Yunnan Province, to replace the engineer battalion deployed from the same military command in April 2006, sources said.


The second force, which has just finished a training program begun in November last year, will stay eight months in Lebanon, sources said.


The first force cleared more than 6,845 landmines and explosives and rebuilt roads over 50 kilometers in its eight-month term. The 182-member team won a UN award on October 1 for their contribution to the mission.


China has contributed more UN peacekeepers than any of the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council


Over the years China has sent 6,000 military personnel to participate in 16 UN peacekeeping operations since it began to participate in UN peacekeeping operations in the 1990s.


Eight Chinese peacekeepers have died and dozens have been wounded in the line of duty. UN observer Du Zhaoyu died in an Israeli raid on a UN post in southern Lebanon on July 25 last year.


(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2007)

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