Unknown perpetrators attacked a group of UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, vandalizing their vehicles and stealing official items from them, a UN official says.
Such scuffles with UN peacekeepers are not uncommon in southern Lebanon since the peacekeeping force was expanded following the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
The UN force, known as UNIFIL, calls on Lebanese authorities to “investigate quickly and thoroughly, and prosecute all those responsible for these crimes,” says Kandice Ardiel, a UNIFIL press official. She adds that the attack occurred last night.
Local media reports that residents of the southern town of Bint Jbeil scuffled with Irish peacekeepers who they said were taking photographs of residential homes. The reports add that the UN force was not accompanied by Lebanese troops.
Bint Jbeil is a Hezbollah stronghold and large parts of it were destroyed during the 2006 war.
Ardiel says that contrary to the alleged disinformation being spread, the peacekeepers were not taking photos and were not on private property. She adds that the peacekeepers were on their way to meet members of the Lebanese army for a routine patrol.
“UNIFIL condemns attacks on men and women serving the cause of peace, which are violations of both Lebanese and international law,” Ardiel says, adding that UNIFIL also condemns those who manipulate local residents to serve their purposes.