Southern Lebanon: Three U.N. peacekeepers wounded in bombing attack

Published January 8th, 2008 - 01:34 GMT

A roadside bomb went off near a U.N. peacekeeping vehicle on a highway linking Beirut to south Lebanon on Tuesday, security sources said. Initial report said that at least three U.N. peacekeepers were wounded.

 

The blast took place in the town of Rmaileh near the coastal city of Sidon.

 

In June 2006, six soldiers serving with the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon died after their vehicle was hit by an explosive device. Three were Colombians in the Spanish army, and three were from Spain.

 

Last Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero traveled to southern Lebanon where he inspected his country's troops serving with the UN peacekeeping force.

 

Al Qaeda threat

Tuesday's attack came less than one day after Fatah al-Islam's fugitive leader lashed out in an audio tape at the head of Lebanon's army, vowing his fighters would hunt down the followers of Gen. Michel Suleiman whom he accused of destroying the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared as part of a deal to become president.


The 57-minute tape that was posted on an Internet website Monday was the first purported message from Shaker Youssef al-Abssi after fighting broke out between the gunmen and the Lebanese military at Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon in May. The battle ended in early September, and he remains at large.

 

The al-Qaeda-inspired group's leader accused Suleiman of only waging the battle at the camp for political motives, including appeasing the United States. "America's intervention forced a deal. They told the commander, 'If you want the presidency, then you must present the head of Nahr al-Bared,'" he said.

 

"This was only the beginning ... By God you will not live safely," Abssi said. "The mill of war has started to grind ... between the infidels and the believers."

 

 

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