Three UN observers and a translator injured in southern Lebanon-UNIFIL

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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Three United Nations observers and a translator were injured by a shell explosion on Saturday while they were on a foot patrol in southern Lebanon, the UN peacekeeping mission said. UN (UNIFIL), adding that it was still investigating the origin of the explosion.

UNIFIL said in a statement that targeting peacekeeping forces was “unacceptable.”

Two security sources earlier told Reuters that the observers were injured in an Israeli strike.

The Israeli army has denied any involvement in the incident. “Contrary to what has been reported, the IDF did not strike a UNIFIL vehicle in the Rmeish area this morning,” it said in a statement.

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Security sources said the incident took place outside the border town of Rmeish. One of the sources indicated that a car carrying three UN technical observers and a Lebanese translator had been hit.

Rmeish Mayor Milad Alam told Reuters he spoke with the translator and confirmed his condition was stable.

“From Rmeish, we heard an explosion, then saw a UNIFIL car pass. The foreign observers were transported to hospitals in Tire and Beirut by helicopter and car,” Milad said, without comment. provide details of their condition.

Israel has been exchanging fire with the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah in southern Lebanon for almost six months, parallel to the Gaza war.

Israeli bombings on Lebanon killed nearly 270 Hezbollah fighters but also around fifty civilians – including children, doctors and journalists – and hit both UNIFIL and the Lebanese army.

The unarmed United Nations Technical Observation Mission, known as UNTSO, monitors the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel. UNIFIL is an armed mission.

(Reporting by Maya Gebeily in Beirut and Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem; Editing by William Maclean and Frances Kerry)


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