Lebanon: UN peacekeeper dies following cross-border fire exchange

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Peacekeepers of the United Nations Interim Mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) raise the flags of the United Nations, Lebanon and the 34 contingents of UNIFIL. Pasqual GORRIZ/ UNIFIL Photo

A UN peacekeeper has died from injuries sustained following an exchange of fire near Ghajar in southern Lebanon.

The precise cause of death is as yet undetermined and remains the subject of investigation, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said on Wednesday

Ghajar is north of the Blue Line, a buffer zone, free of armed personnel other than the United Nations and the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The exchange of artillery fire over the Blue Line since early morning was in violation of UN resolution 1701 which ended the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah.

The Israeli Defence Forces or IDF have also informed UNIFIL that they have incurred casualties as a result of fire from the Lebanese side.

UNIFIL Spokesperson Andrea Teneti said there is presently no presence of IDF troops in UNIFIL area of operations.

“What has been important to day is the UNIFIL head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Portolano was in immediate contact with the parties to help control the situation and prevent a further escalation. This has been the main goal of the Mission today in order to maintain the cessation of hostilities and to ask the parties to observe maximum restraint".

UNIFIL has further reinforced its presence on the ground and intensified patrols across the area of operations in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:  1’02″


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