Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said Wednesday that there is a risk of attack against UN troops in Lebanon and that forces there should remain alert, the ANSA news agency reported.
"It is right to warn the (UN) contingent about the risks, because the risks are real," D'Alema said during a visit at the Italian command in Tibnin, Lebanon. He referred to comments by the head of the UN peacekeepers in Lebanon, Major General Alain Pellegrini, that al-Qaida has infiltrated southern Lebanon, ANSA said.
"The threat does not come from the (troops') relations with the locals, but it could come from the outside, from a terror attack," D'Alema said. "And I think it is right to warn the Lebanese armed forces, UNIFIL, police."
Earlier Wednesday, D'Alema was in Beirut, where he met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, an ally of the Hezbollah militant group that has been staging massive demonstrations against the government.