UN peacekeeper from Spain killed in southern Lebanon

UN peacekeeper from Spain killed in southern Lebanon
# 28 January 2015 18:22 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. A UN peacekeeper from Spain was killed in southern Lebanon on Wednesday, a UN spokesman said, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"I can confirm that a Spanish soldier was killed in southern Lebanon," Andrea Tenenti, spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), was quoted by Lebanon's National News Agency as saying.

The spokesman added that the peacekeepers' commander, Major General Luciano Portolano, was "in close contact with all the parties, urging maximum restraint to prevent an escalation."

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed on his Twitter account his "great sadness at the death of a Spanish soldier in Lebanon".

Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant party claimed Wednesday responsibility for an attack on an Israeli army patrol in the occupied Shebaa Farms.

According to a statement by the media department of the party, Hezbollah said "at 11:35 this morning, the Qoneitra martyrs squad of the Islamic Resistance targeted an Israeli army convoy composed of a number of vehicles and a number of Zionist officers and soldiers, with the appropriate missiles, which led to the destruction of many vehicles and the injury of many enemy soldiers."

According to local television station MTV, six Israeli soldiers were injured during the attack and the Israeli army responded by shelling intensively the eastern sector of south Lebanon with at least 200 mortar shells.

The MTV added that the Israeli air force is currently overflying the region and executing mock raids over the region.

UNIFIL has been deployed in southern Lebanon since 1978.

Its ranks were reinforced following the UN Security Council resolution no. 1701 that put an end to the 33-day war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah, which killed 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

The 10,000-strong peacekeeping force, including nearly 600 Spanish soldiers, is composed of troops from 36 countries.