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Wounded U.N. Peacekeeper Dies In Israeli Hospital

March 4, 1992

TYRE, Lebanon (AP) _ A U.N. peacekeeping soldier from Fiji has died in an Israeli hospital almost two weeks after being wounded while trying to block an Israeli military advance in southern Lebanon, a spokesman said.

Timur Goksel, spokesman for the U.N. Interim Force In Lebanon, said Pvt. Petaia Sorovakatini died Tuesday.

Sorovakatini was wounded near the southern village of Kafra Feb. 20 but U.N. officials said at the time that it was not clear whether the gunfire was from Israeli forces or from Shiite Muslim guerrillas.

The 727-strong Fijian battalion has lost 25 soldiers since the nine-nation, 5,800-strong United Nations Interim Force deployed in southern Lebanon in 1978.

Sorovakatini’s death brought UNIFIL’s overall death toll to 185.

The force patrols a narrow buffer separating Israel’s self-proclaimed security zone from the rest of the region.

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