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'Sources hint Syria involved in Lebanon UNIFIL bombing'
May 28, 2011 17:19
Diplomats tell Lebanese media blast comes after Syrian FM threatened EU it would regret decision to impose sanctions on Assad regime.
Wounded Italian UN soldier near Lebanese border

Injured UNIFIL soldier 311 (r). (photo credit:REUTERS/ Sharif Karim)

Diplomatic sources on Saturday suggested Syria was involved in the roadside bomb Friday that blew up a UN vehicle on a highway leading to the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon, Lebanese daily An Nahar reported.

The sources told An Nahar and other Lebanese media that the the blast came after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem threatened the European Union that it would regret sanctions imposed on President Bashar Assad and other top Syrian officials.

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"I say this measure, just as it will harm Syria's interests, it will harm Europe's interest. And Syria won't remain silent about this measure," Muallem declared last week.

The diplomats hinted that messages communicated to Europe through Muallem's comments and the attack on the UN peacekeepers would only increase.

According to An Nahar, they did not exclude attempts by the Syrian government to create "distractions elsewhere" if it feels threatened.

Four other Italian peacekeepers were wounded in Friday's attack, Lebanese security sources said.

A spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon said the bomb had been aimed at a logistics convoy.

The explosion happened on the UN's International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, when peacekeepers killed in missions across the world are commemorated by their colleagues.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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  • Bashar Assad
  • European Union
  • Lebanon
  • Syria
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