Belgian peacekeeper killed in Lebanon

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A Belgian peacekeeper was killed in the line of duty while he was clearing unexploded ordnance.

4 September 2008

LEBANON -- A Belgian peacekeeper was killed in southern Lebanon while he was clearing unexploded ordnance.

The 35-year-old, from Poelkapelle in West Flanders, was part of the army's bomb disposal unit. The Belgian was  clearing unexploded ordnance in Ajt Arun near the Lebanese town of Tibnin when one of the devices exploded in his hand.

The soldier's family has been informed.

Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem, the Belgian chief of staff August Van Daele and the staff of the Defence Ministry expressed their sadness at hearing the news.

The peacekeeper is the fourth Belgian to die in Lebanon. Three other Belgians died when their army vehicle overturned.

It is the first time a Belgian is killed in Lebanon during the performance of his duties.

The Belgian detachment forms part of the United Nations' Unifil operation in Lebanon and is based in Ajt Arun. The detachment was deployed in 2006 and consists of 300 soldiers.

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