UN chief condemns explosion in south Lebanon that injured 4 UN peacekeepers

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemns the explosion in southern Lebanon earlier today where four United Nations peacekeepers were hurt in a strike Lebanon has blamed on Israel, and which Israel has denied.

The UN said earlier four of its military observers were wounded when a shell exploded near them. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) did not identify the source of the shelling.

Guterres’s office says an investigation by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is underway.

Earlier, two unnamed security sources accused Israel of the strike in comments to Reuters, saying it took place outside the southern Lebanese border town of Rmeish. A source told Reuters the car was carrying three UN technical observers and one Lebanese translator when it was struck.

Israel and Lebanese terror group Hezbollah have been locked in cross-border skirmishes since the start of the war in Gaza, with Hezbollah attacking Israeli towns and military targets on a near-daily basis, claiming it is doing so in support of Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

In the statement, Guterres’s office says the situation on the “Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel since 8 October last year, with daily exchanges of fire between non-state armed groups based in Lebanon and the Israel Defense Forces, continues to be of grave concern,” and that “hostilities are in violation of Security Council resolution 1701” which was intended to resolve the 2006 Lebanon War.

“The impact on civilian areas, with dozens of civilian fatalities reported, destruction of residential and agricultural areas, and displacement of tens of thousands of people on both sides of the Blue Line, is unacceptable,” Guterres’s office says.

These actions “pose a grave threat to the security and stability of Lebanon, Israel, and the region.”

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