20 Nov 2003

Two more Fiji soldiers injured while serving in Iraq

11:08 am on 20 November 2003

Another two Fijian soldiers on private security duties in Iraq have been shot and seriously wounded.

Fiji TV reports that Corporal Villiame Delaikavu and Lance Corporal Marika Maitoga were shot in the stomach when they came under fire from hostile Iraqis while on duty north of Samara.

They have been evacuated to a US military hospital in Iraq.

A third Fijian trooper escaped unhurt.

Meanwhile three other Fijian soldiers are returning home for medical reasons including one who suffered a stroke and another because of spinal injuries in a traffic accident.

The reserve soldiers are employed privately by the British company, Global Risk Strategies, whose Fiji representative, Lt Col Sakiusa Raivoce, says 12 replacements will be flown to Iraq this weekend.

Last week three Fijians were wounded when a bomb was exploded under their vehicle while they were delivering the new Iraqi currency.

More than 500 Fijian troops have been serving in Iraq on private deployment since the middle of September.