UNIFIL finds Hezbollah arms; gunmen scatter peacekeepers

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UNIFIL finds Hezbollah arms; gunmen scatter peacekeepers

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:37 pm

Armed
Hezbollah militants warded off members of the United Nations Interim
Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) last month when the peacekeepers discovered a
truck carrying weapons and ammunition belonging to the Lebanon-based
guerilla group.


The
incident was referred to briefly in a semi-yearly report submitted to
the UN Security Council by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The
incident was the first time that UNIFIL forces were confronted by armed
Hezbollah men south of Lebanon's Litani River, an area which Security
Council resolution 1701 prohibits Hezbollah from entering.


According
to a government source in Jerusalem, the incident caused great
embarrassment for UNIFIL. The source described the incident, explaining
that UNIFIL troops on patrol discovered the truck and chased it down
and pulled it over. When the UNIFIL troops approached the vehicle, the
source said, armed Hezbollah men exited the truck and threatened the
troops at gunpoint. The UNIFIL patrol then went back into their cars,
according to the source, and returned to their base.

The
report submitted to the Security Council said the incident occurred on
the night between the 30 and 31 of March. "This serious violation of
the UN resolution raises concerns," the report said.


The incident was not reported in the media at the time of its occurrence.

Israeli
security officials believe that Hezbollah forces are usually found in
areas where the organization enjoys centralized civilian support. There
are many areas that answer to that description in south Lebanon because
most of the residents in the south of the country are Shiite Muslims,
who support Hezbollah.


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