Italy seeks sharp cut in Lebanon military presence

ROME - Italy is looking to reduce its peacekeeping contingent in Lebanon by nearly half, the defense minister said on Saturday, after six Italian soldiers were wounded in an attack on their convoy in the country's south.
Two of the six were seriously wounded when a bomb blew up a UN jeep near the southern port city of Sidon on Friday, the first attack of its kind in three years.
Italy must scale back its contingent to 1,100 soldiers from the 1,780 it has at present in the UN force, Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa told La Repubblica newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.