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  • Another attack in the Leb

    From Yahoo...

    Bomb hits U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon By HUSSEIN DAKROUB, Associated Press Writer
    50 minutes ago

    BEIRUT, Lebanon AP) — A roadside bomb planted in Lebanon's coastal south exploded Monday near a U.N. post as a peacekeeping vehicle drove past, the second attack targeting the force in less than a month. No one was hurt.


    The bomb struck the U.N. jeep as it drove through a village near the southern port city of Tyre, according to a statement from the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.

    A U.N. official at the site of the explosion said the bomb was planted near a bridge on the road to Qassimiyeh. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

    Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation television showed Lebanese troops directing traffic and searching the blast scene for evidence.

    "We can confirm that a small explosion occurred in the area of the Qassmiyeh bridge, involving one UNIFIL military police vehicle," Yasmina Bouziane, a spokeswoan for the U.N. force, said in a statement. "No casualties have been reported. Only damage to the vehicle."

    Security officials in southern Lebanon said two Tanzanian peacekeepers parked their jeep on the coastal road near the Qassimiyeh bridge to monitor the speed of U.N. vehicles in southern Lebanon.

    Minutes after the two soldiers stepped out of the jeep, the bomb exploded, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

    Monitoring the speed of U.N. vehicles began after four members of a Lebanese family, including two children, were killed in southern Lebanon on July 3 when a U.N. water truck lost control and rammed into their car. The incident enraged locals who demanded U.N. troops stop driving at high speeds.

    In the first attack targeting UNIFIL, six peacekeepers belonging to the Spanish contingent were killed June 24 when a bomb struck their armored personnel carrier in southern Lebanon.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the June blast. But in a videotape last week, al-Qaida's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri blessed the attack, fueling speculation that it was carried out by al-Qaida-linked militants.

    UNIFIL Commander Gen. Claudio Graziano has said he does not know who was behind the car bombing on the Spanish troops, but he was sure the attackers aimed to undermine peace in Lebanon and the region.

    Since the arrival of the reinforced UNIFIL force last summer, Graziano said the force received many threats, "and we took all the threats very seriously, even if they were not direct."

    There have been warnings that the peacekeepers could come under terror attacks, particularly from al-Qaida and its sympathizers. Media reports last month said interrogations by Lebanese authorities with captured militants revealed plots to attack the force.

    UNIFIL, made up of 13,000 members from 30 countries, is tasked with implementing a U.N. Security Council resolution that ended last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.
    There may be only one time in your life when your country will call upon you and you will be the only one who can do the nasty job that has to be done -- do it or forever after there will be the taste of ashes in your mouth.

  • #2 » Middle East » Article

    Oct 15, 2007 17:06 | Updated Oct 15, 2007 17:25
    LAF stops attack against peacekeepers
    BEIRUT, Lebanon
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    Lebanese military intelligence agents have detained seven people for alleged involvement in the preparation of attacks against UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, the army said in a statement Monday.

    A UN peacekeeper monitors the Israeli-Lebanese border near the village of Marwaheen.
    Photo: AP [file] , AP
    The seven included some foreigners, but the statement did not give their nationalities or say whether they belonged to a specific organization.

    The statement said that the group planted a bomb near the southern city of Tyre aiming to target a UN patrol, but it did not explode due to a problem in the trigger.

    The detainees also allegedly admitted they planned to plant two bombs in the same area and detonate them within a short period "in order to cause maximum casualties among the forces," the statement said. The two bombs were confiscated, and the seven detainees were referred to judicial authorities, the army's statement said.

    There has been two major attacks against UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon killing six in recent months.

    In August, Lebanese authorities arrested two Palestinians in connection with a roadside bombing that targeted UN peacekeepers on July 16. The bombing of a UN jeep in the southern village of Qassimiyeh caused damage but no casualties.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the Qassimiyeh attack or the June 24 blast that killed six Spanish peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. But in a July videotape, al-Qaida's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri blessed the first attack, fueling speculation that it was carried out by al-Qaida-linked militants.

    Thousands of UN peacekeepers were deployed in southern Lebanon last year along with 15,000 Lebanese troops following the Second Lebanon War between Israel and the Hizbullah group.


    • #3
      BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Gunfire broke out in downtown Beirut Thursday after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said recent government actions amount to "a declaration of open war."

      Government loyalists add tires to a burning barricade Thursday outside Beirut, Lebanon.

      "Just in the past few minutes ... things have gotten a lot worse," CNN's Cal Perry reported from downtown Beirut. The sound of automatic gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades could be heard throughout his live reports.

      Perry, who took cover with the Lebanese army, said government forces have not yet reacted to the violence.

      The gunbattles were taking place between Shiite and Sunni neighborhoods in the capital, near CNN's Beirut Bureau. Watch Perry call in through gunfire »

      The Lebanese army, which is charged with trying to keep peace in the capital, is in a precarious position, Perry explained.

      "When you're talking about this much gunfire, when you're talking about RPG fire, it's absolutely ludicrous to think that the army will put themselves between these two factions," he said.

      Video of the scene showed tanks and armored personnel carriers moving through empty streets past shuttered stores.

      The violence erupted shortly after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the government's attempts to halt Hezbollah's use of a telecommunications system amounts to "a declaration of open war."

      "We believe the war has started and we believe that we have the right to defend ourselves," Nasrallah said in a televised speech. "We will cut the hand that will reach out to the weapons of the resistance no matter if it comes from the inside or the outside."

      At the same time, Nasrallah called for dialogue, saying, "We are ready, whoever wants a compromise, we are here and ready."

      "Those who have taken decisions leading to war, let them withdraw their decisions and there would be no war," he said.

      "Am I declaring war? Not at all. I am declaring oppression and self-defense."

      Lebanese Communications Minister Marwan Hamadi said Nasrallah's speech "is a direct threat of assassinating us."

      "We are not scared of the threat," Hamadi told al-Arabiya. " 'Cutting off the hands' is a direct threat of assassination.

      "He says it is a new phase; we say it is a new phase, too. We are determined to keep what is left of the Lebanese government."

      Many Lebanese politicians who have opposed Syria's influence in their country have been assassinated in recent years, including former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and four members of parliament.

      The latest tensions between Lebanon's U.S.-backed government and Hezbollah were sparked Monday when the government sacked airport security chief Brig. Gen. Wafik Shoukeir.

      The government believes Hezbollah was using the equipment to keep tabs on the movement of its opponents in the government.

      Nasrallah defended Hezbollah's use of the monitoring equipment, saying it is the right of "any militia during war."

      "This wired network is the most important weapon in the battle," he said.

      Nasrallah accused the government of trying to make the Beirut airport "a base for the CIA, FBI and the Mossad," the Israeli secret police.

      "That's why they wanted to suspend Brig. Gen. Wafik Shoukeir. ... They want to bring a loyal subject that will serve them at the airport."

      In a rare display of anger toward Hezbollah, the highest Sunni Muslim spiritual authority in Lebanon accused the group of taking advantage of a labor strike on Wednesday by using it as a political opportunity, and of fomenting violence in Beirut.

      The strike quickly escalated into a flashpoint over Lebanon's 17-month-old political crisis.

      Hezbollah supporters continue to block all the roads leading to Beirut's airport, forcing the cancellation of nearly all flights. Watch soldiers, burned cars in streets »

      Gunbattles were reported Thursday in Beirut's seaport district of Corniche al-Mazraa. Tires continued to burn in Beirut, particularly in the downtown area, where a Hezbollah sit-in continues around the government buildings.

      There were reports of clashes and gunfire in the Bekaa Valley overnight and Thursday morning.

      Clashes in Beirut on Wednesday took on a sectarian tone, between Beirut's Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods.

      Hezbollah is a Shiite militant group, backed by Syria and Iran, with political representation in Lebanon's government.

      Members of Lebanon's other major Shiite party, Amal, also participated in Wednesday's strike.

      Lebanon's political crisis began in late 2006, when Hezbollah pulled several ministers out of the government of U.S.-backed Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in an effort to destabilize his government.

      The move happened as Siniora's government voted to support an international tribunal to investigate the 2005 killing of Hariri, which U.N. investigators have linked to Syria.

      The country has been without a president since Emile Lahoud -- who was pro-Syrian -- left office after his term ended in November and parliament was unable to agree on a replacement.

      Possible problem for UNIFIL if this spreads to the UNIFIL AO.


      • #4
        Villagers disarm UN patrol in south Lebanon: army
        (AFP) – 2 days ago
        TULINE, Lebanon — Villagers disarmed a French patrol of UN peacekeepers Saturday and attacked them with sticks, rocks and eggs in south Lebanon, in the latest in a string of such incidents, the Lebanese army said.
        "Residents of the village of Tuline as well as some villagers from nearby Kabrikha attacked a patrol with sticks and threw stones and eggs," a military spokesman told AFP.
        "The citizens disarmed the soldiers and briefly took control of their vehicle before the army intervened and made them move away from the patrol," the spokesman said.
        "The arms were returned to UNIFIL and the incident is closed," he said, referring to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon which patrols the border region with Israel.
        He said the peacekeepers had earlier arrested a young man in Kabrikha who opposed their presence in his village. In Tuline, local residents attacked the patrol, demanding the man be released, the spokesman and witnesses said.
        According to an AFP correspondent at the scene, a French soldier suffered a minor eye injury while a young man was seen with a bloody face. Two UN vehicles appeared to have been hit by eggs and rocks.
        The official National News Agency said the disturbances broke out after a French patrol hit a car and a motorbike in Kabrikha.
        UNIFIL was unavailable on Saturday to comment on the incident.
        Hezbollah has urged the peacekeepers in south Lebanon, a stronghold of the Shiite militant movement, to stick to their mandate, following a wave of protests by villagers.
        "UNIFIL should always carry out its role... in a way so as not to arouse mistrust and worry of citizens as was the case during the latest exercises," Hezbollah's number two, Naim Qassem, said in a newspaper interview.
        The protests came during a maximum deployment exercise last Tuesday by the UN force charged with overseeing a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, which fought a devastating month-long war in 2006.
        In one incident, protesters pelted stones at UNIFIL vehicles, slightly injuring a peacekeeper.
        Qassem said the peacekeepers "must stick to their mission as prescribed by (UN Security Council) Resolution 1701. Then there will be a return to normal," said the Hezbollah official.
        Resolution 1701, which ended the Hezbollah-Israel war in 2006, expanded the mandate of UNIFIL troops, which was originally formed in 1978 after the outbreak of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war.
        Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved. More »
        "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"


        • #5
          Considering the mandate I would have taught that shouldn't happen but our course as none of us are there we don't know all the details.


          • #6
            Politicians, clerics rally behind UNIFIL after village attack

            Saturday, July 03, 2010

            BEIRUT: A recent attack by southern villagers on a patrol of peacekeepers in south Lebanon continued to spark reactions on Friday, as politicians and clergymen urged support for UNIFIL, as well as issued warnings that the peacekeepers were provoking locals.

            On Tuesday, residents of the village of Khirbet Silim hurled stones at a UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)’s vehicle.

            UNIFIL spokesperson Neeraj Singh said the incident caused minor injuries among peacekeepers and broke the window of the vehicle.

            The incident occurred during a 36-hour capacity-testing operation, which was supposed to see the UN task force deployed to its maximum strength in its mandated area of operations, south of the Litani River.

            The drills were cancelled following the clash, which was accompanied by a number of protests against the maneuvers.

            In remarks published by As-Safir newspaper on Friday, Hizbullah’s deputy secretary general, Sheikh Naim Qassem, voiced his party’s belief that UNIFIL should refrain from taking actions that instigated tensions with southerners.

            Qassem said UNIFIL wanted to conduct maneuvers in populated areas in a number of southern villages, calling the timing and objectives “suspicious,” and without coordination with the Lebanese Army.

            Qassem reiterated Hizbullah’s support for UNIFIL’s mission, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

            Meanwhile, the National Liberal Party (NLP) held Hizbullah responsible for the attack on the UNIFIL, accusing it of undermining Resolution 1701 and committing to a regional agenda which it was ready to serve at the expense of Lebanon.

            Metropolitan Yohanna Haddad of the Melchite Catholic sect also called for “respecting and preserving the role of UNIFIL on the eve of renewing its mandate in the south.”

            Haddad voiced hope in a statement on Friday that what happened in Khirbet Silm and other villages would be resolved via dialogue between the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL.

            On another note, Beirut MP Atef Majdalani expressed fears that the repetitive scuffles with UNIFIL in southern villages would entail consequences that would affect Resolution 1701 and the international peacekeepers in the south.

            “Is it in Lebanon’s interest not to commit to the resolution? Or shall we provide the UN with an excuse to withdraw UNIFIL [from Lebanon]?” asked the lawmaker.

            Read more:
            (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::