China / China

Peacekeeper's body returns for burial

By Zheng Jinran (China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-10 07:32

The body of a Chinese peacekeeper who was killed in a terrorist attack on May 31 at a UN camp in Mali was flown back on Thursday to Changchun, capital city of Jilin province, where his regiment is based.

A military plane carrying Shen Liangliang's body touched down on Thursday afternoon in Changchun. A funeral service will be held on Friday morning.

Shen's family, including his parents and elder brother, arrived at the base where Shen served for 11 years.

Shen, 29, has been honored as a martyr and will be buried in the Martyrs' Memorial Park in his hometown in Wenxian county in Henan province, the Beijing News said on Thursday.

Though overcome by grief, his father, Shen Tianguo, said he was immensely proud of his son and his efforts in helping keep the peace in foreign countries, China National Radio reported on Thursday.

Shen Liangliang served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Mali. On May 31 his base in Mali came under mortar fire. The attack killed Shen and also injured four other Chinese peacekeepers.

After the attack, China called for an immediate and thorough investigation into the attack in Mali and issued a travel warning to Chinese citizens planning to go to Mali.

The Chinese military sent a specialist medical team to Mali on June 2 to join Chinese peacekeepers there and help treat casualties from the attack.

In addition to being honored by the military, Shen also has received a posthumous honor on Tuesday from the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization of Mali.

"I want to appreciate the courage and commitment of First Sergeant Shen Liangliang and all his Chinese armed brothers. I appeal to them to continue doing their work despite being in a very difficult security environment," said Mahamat Saleh Annadif, special representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of the mission, during a memorial ceremony held at the mission's headquarters, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Since May, the west African country has seen various terrorist acts claiming more than 20 lives, including members of the Malian military forces, UN peacekeepers and civilians working for the United Nations.

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