12 Aug 2005

Death of Fiji guard in Iraq thought to be accidental

10:28 am on 12 August 2005

A British security company which employs Fijian guards in Iraq says a Fiji national killed there this week didn't die in an ambush by Muslim extremists.

It was earlier reported that 40-year old Solomone Cabealotu of Vanuavatu in Lau was killed in a surprise insurgent attack.

But Global Risk Strategies' Fiji director, Colonel Sakiusa Raivoce, says Mr Cabealotu died, when the vehicle in which they were carrying out a routine escort duty on their way to Talil Air Force Base near Nassiriyah in southern Iraq, burst a tyre.

Col Raivoce says another Fiji national, 23 year old Salesh Kumar of Suva, was

seriously injured in the incident and is likely to require surgery.

He says both families would be compensated for their losses.

A number of Fiji nationals have been killed and others injured in insurgent attacks since they were first employed on security duties in Iraq from September 2003.