By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — The UN is carrying out an investigation after a 21-year-old Irish peacekeeping soldier was shot dead in an accident while on patrol in East Timor, a defense forces spokesman said on Monday.
The soldier, who is from the west of Ireland, had been serving with the Irish UN contingent in East Timor since February. He was a member of the 1st Battalion of the Irish army and was part of a 42 strong contingent in East Timor.
The spokesman said he received a gunshot wound to the head while on a two-day patrol near the unit’s base close to the village of Taroman, near the border with West Timor.
“It appears to have been a tragic accident that happened about 10 kilometers from their base and a full investigation is being undertaken by the UN,” the spokesman said. “There were no hostilities in the area at the time. It wasn’t his own weapon that was involved.”
The name of the soldier is not being released until his family have been informed.
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