Hezbollah calls attack that killed one UNFIL member unintentional

Hezbollah calls attack that killed one UNFIL member unintentional

An Irish member of the U.N. peacekeeping force monitoring south Lebanon near the Israeli border was killed and three wounded after their convoy came under fire, U.N. and Irish sources said Thursday.

The peacekeeper died from a bullet to the head when seven gunshots pierced the UNIFIL vehicle, a Lebanese judicial source told AFP.

Three other peacekeepers in the same vehicle were injured when it hit a pylon and overturned late Wednesday night in the southern village of al-Aqbiyeh, the source said.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he was “deeply shocked and very saddened” by the loss of life.

“A convoy of two armored utility vehicles carrying eight personnel travelling to Beirut came under small arms fire” late Wednesday, the Irish military said.

“Four personnel were taken to Raee Hospital, near Sidon as a result of the (2115 GMT) incident,” the military said.

“One soldier was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital and another has undergone surgery and is in a serious condition. The other two soldiers are being treated for minor injuries.”

U.N. peacekeeping force UNIFIL said the “incident” happened near the village of Al-Aqbiya, just outside the force’s area of operations in a strip along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel.

Witnesses told AFP the vehicle had been blocked by villagers after it took a road along the Mediterranean coast not normally used by the U.N. force.

They said they had heard gunfire and the driver had appeared to lose control of the vehicle as the convoy attempted to leave the area.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney expressed “profound sadness and a deep sense of shock” over the peacekeeper’s death.

Source: yalibnan