Lebanon: 8 guilty of plotting attacks on UN troops

June 20, 2009 19:10

A Lebanese military court has convicted eight men of plotting to attack UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, a court official said Saturday. Three Palestinians tried in absentia were sentenced to life in prison and five Lebanese in custody were each given three years in Friday's ruling, the official said. He did not provide details of the plot or say whether the men were affiliated with a particular militant group. Several attacks have targeted the UN peacekeeping force in south Lebanon in recent years, though it is unclear who is behind them. In the most deadly attack, a car bomb killed six Spanish peacekeepers in June 2007. No group claimed responsibility, but al-Qaida's deputy chief, Ayman al-Zawahri, praised the attack. In an audio recording, he also called on Sunni militants last year "to expel the invading Crusaders who pretend to be peacekeeping forces in Lebanon and not to accept Resolution 1701."

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