20 Nov 2003

CFF condemns further shooting of Fijians in Iraq

4:54 pm on 20 November 2003

The Fiji Citizens Constitutional Forum has condemned the shooting of two more Fijian soldiers on private security duties in Iraq.

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

It is understood that one of them has been evacuated to a hospital in Germany and the other to Britain.

CCF's executive director, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says the incidents are further proof that the men face enormous danger.

"It accentuates the fact that it's a high risk situation having had two instance of shooting. There was one two weeks ago and three Fiji soldiers were injured and now there is another one and these soldiers have been more seriously wounded by the fact that one is being sent to Germany and one to Britain."

Mr Yabaki says he believes the soldiers were not briefed about the risks before going to Iraq.

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.