Army officer missing in Congo found dead in Lake Kivu

New Delhi: An Indian Army officer, who went missing five days ago during a kayaking trip in Congo's Lake Kivu, was found dead in Lake Kivu on Thursday, officials said.

Lt Col Gaurav Solanki was deputed as a military observer in a UN mission in the Central African nation.

An Army official said Solanki's body was retrieved on Thursday from Lake Kivu where he had gone kayaking. Solanki had accompanied a group to the lake, located near Tchegera Island, on the border between Congo and Rwanda on last Sunday.

"Everyone had returned except Solanki following the kayaking trip. A massive search and rescue operation was launched with speed boats and helicopters to search for the missing officer. His dead body was retrieved around 11 a.m. on Thursday," said an officer.

Solanki's body was found at a distance of a kilometre from Tchegera Island.

The cause of the army officer's death has not been ascertained yet. Sources said enquiries are underway to ascertain the cause of death even though prima facie it appears that Solanki died due to drowning accidentally.

As per sources, Solanki had completed his assignment in Congo and was due to return to his regiment in India within the next few days.