Irish UN peacekeeper killed in Lebanon

An Irish soldier with the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon was killed and another seriously wounded when their convoy came under fire late on Wednesday.

Two other Irish soldiers were injured in the incident at the village of Al Aqbieh, southern Lebanon, when the peacekeepers’ two vehicles were attacked while travelling to Beirut.

The Irish Defence Ministry didn’t mention the soldier serving with the 121st Infantry Battalion on United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon deployment.

An Irish military spokesman said that a convoy of two armoured utility vehicles carrying eight personnel was fired on as it travelled to Beirut.

Five people were taken to Raee Hospital, near Sidon, as a result of the incident, the statement said. One soldier died upon arrival at the hospital, and another underwent surgery and is in serious condition, it said.

An infantry medical officer is caring for two wounded soldiers amid the recent news from Lebanon.

President Michael Higgins expressed his “deepest sorrow” over the death.

“We take great pride in our unbroken record of peacekeeping with the United Nations as a people,” he said.


Image Credit: AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari