UNSC votes unanimously to extend mandate of peacekeeping force in Lebanon

The UN Security Council voted unanimously Friday to extend the mandate of the 13,600-strong UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon and called for a permanent cease-fire and long-term solution to last summer's Israel-Hizbullah war. The resolution adopted by the council emphasized the need for greater progress in resolving these and other issues stemming from the 34-day which killed more than 1,000 people in Lebanon and 159 people on the Israeli side. The Security Council reiterated its intention "to consider further steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution." Earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the council to extend the mandate of the force, known as UNIFIL, praising the troops for helping to establish security in southern Lebanon.