'UNIFIL bombers also meant to launch rockets into Israel'

Lebanese newspaper says terrorists took advantage of power vacuum in Lebanon to launch attack; Hezbollah may have also been a target.

May 30, 2011 18:40
1 minute read.
Lebanese Red Cross treat UNIFIL peacekeeper.

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


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The recent bombing of a UNIFIL peacekeeping vehicle in Ramileh, Lebanon, near the southern port of Sidon, was potentially part of a broader operation that included launching rockets into Israel, Lebanese newspaper Al-Safir reported on Monday.

Sources claim that in the past UNIFIL attacks have always been coupled with rocket-launching operations, the report said.

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The bombing, which resulted in the death of one Italian soldier, also raised questions about the power vacuum that has plagued the Lebanese political situation in recent months since Hezbollah members left the ruling coalition in January of this year.

The report said Hezbollah itself may have been under attack.

Al-Safir reported that Lebanese army, IDF and UNIFIL officials had met only a few days prior to the attack in an-Naqoura when Israeli army officials said that Islamic groups in the Ein al-Helwa area were planning attacks against international UNIFIL forces as well as against Hezbollah.

The bombing highlights the growing chaotic situation in a country where the government has been frozen since Prime Minister-designate Najib Mitaki has been unable to form a ruling coalition.

Recently, Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar said Syria was behind the attack and used the power-vacuum in Lebanon to attack the UNIFIL convoy, trying to steer attentions away from Syria’s own conflict.

Lebanese English-language newspaper the Daily Star, while not pointing to Syria specifically, also quoted an official doubting that the attack was organized by a Lebanese group, saying instead that coordinators of the attack sought to “embarrass the Lebanese state and make it appear unable to exercise full control over its territory.”

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