UN chief slams attack on French peacekeepers in Lebanon

27th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday strongly condemned a roadside bomb attack that wounded six French peacekeepers in the southern city of Sidon.

Ban "hopes that the perpetrators are swiftly identified and brought to justice," his spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

"The secretary-general is deeply disturbed by this attack on UNIFIL, the second in the last two months," Nesirky added.

Earlier, Neeraj Singh, spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, told AFP: "According to preliminary reports, at around 6:00 pm today (1500 GMT) an explosion targeted a UNIFIL convoy along the highway at Sidon."

The front of the troop carrier bore the brunt of the blast and was badly damaged, with several parts blown 20 to 30 meters (yards) away.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred on the main highway linking the capital to south Lebanon, where the 12,000-strong force is deployed.

Spain currently commands UNIFIL, which was founded in 1978 and is tasked with overseeing a fragile peace along Lebanon's southern border with Israel.

After Italy, France forms the largest contingent with 1,600 soldiers. It is followed by Spain, with 1,100.

© 2011 AFP

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