UNIFIL 248 88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Lebanese military intelligence agents have detained seven people for alleged involvement in the preparation of attacks against UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, the army said in a statement Monday.
The seven included some foreigners, but the statement did not give their nationalities or say whether they belonged to a specific organization.
The statement said that the group planted a bomb near the southern city of Tyre aiming to target a UN patrol, but it did not explode due to a problem in the trigger.
The detainees also allegedly admitted they planned to plant two bombs in the same area and detonate them within a short period "in order to cause maximum casualties among the forces," the statement said. The two bombs were confiscated, and the seven detainees were referred to judicial authorities, the army's statement said.
There have been two major attacks against UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon in recent months, killing six people.
In August, Lebanese authorities arrested two Palestinians in connection with a roadside bombing that targeted UN peacekeepers on July 16. The bombing of a UN jeep in the southern village of Qassimiyeh caused damage but no casualties.
No group has claimed responsibility for the Qassimiyeh attack or the June 24 blast that killed six Spanish peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. But in a July videotape, al-Qaida's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri blessed the first attack, fueling speculation that it was carried out by al-Qaida-linked militants.
Thousands of UN peacekeepers were deployed in southern Lebanon last year along with 15,000 Lebanese troops following the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hizbullah.