Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hezbollah slams attack on UN troops

Lebanese army soldiers stand guard next to a destroyed Italian UN peacekeeper vehicle that was struck by a roadside bomb on Friday, May 27, 2011

Source: Press TV

Lebanon's resistance movement, Hezbollah, has condemned an attack on a United Nations peacekeeping patrol in the south of the country, which left at least eight people injured.

“Hezbollah considers this a criminal act and calls on the Lebanese specialized services to investigate and uncover the perpetrators and hold them accountable,” Press TV quoted a Hezbollah statement on Friday.

An Italian patrol from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was targeted by a roadside bomb on Friday, while on a highway leading to the coastal city of Sidon.

At least six Italian soldiers and two civilians were injured in the attack.

According to Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa, two of the peacekeepers are in grave condition.

An earlier report from the Italian news agency ANSA citing defense ministry sources had said that one Italian soldier was killed in the blast.

“This is a despicable act that is clearly directed at undermining UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and stability in Lebanon,'' said Neeraj Singh, a spokesman for the UNIFIL peacekeeping force.

He was referring to the resolution that ended the Israel's 33-day war against the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah in 2006, which claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians.

UNIFIL has now launched an investigation into Friday's incident.

The latest attack against UNIFIL troops was in January 2008, when a roadside bomb struck a UN vehicle traveling along the coastal highway south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Two peacekeepers were wounded in the blast.

The deadliest attack against UNIFIL was in June 2007, when six Spanish peacekeepers were killed after a bomb hit their convoy near the Israeli border.

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