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Shelling injures peacekeeper in south Lebanon — UN

By AFP - Oct 29,2023 - Last updated at Oct 29,2023

BEIRUT — A UN peacekeeper was injured on Saturday by shelling in south Lebanon, the mission’s spokesman said, hours after reporting a hit at its headquarters as Israel-Lebanon border skirmishes intensify amid war in Gaza.

“One peacekeeper was lightly injured” near the border village of Hula, said Andrea Tenenti, spokesperson for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Lebanon’s official National News Agency (NNA) said a Nepalese peacekeeper was “moderately injured in the stomach and arm after two Israeli shells” fell in Hula.

Earlier on Saturday, Tenenti had told AFP that “a shell hit inside the base” in Naqura, where UNIFIL headquarters are located, indicating there were “no injuries but some damage”.

He said UNIFIL was seeking to verify who fired the shells.

A Lebanese military source, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to the media, said “an Israeli shell penetrated the cement wall” around the UNIFIL headquarters.

The shell did not explode, a UNIFIL statement said, adding that “several of our other positions have also sustained damage in the past three weeks” and urging “all parties to immediately cease fire”.

Since Palestinian group Hamas carried out an unprecedented attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, Lebanon’s southern border has seen tit-for-tat exchanges between Israel and the Iran-backed Hizbollah, a Hamas ally.

The cross-border skirmishes have killed at least 58 people in Lebanon, according to an AFP tally, mostly Hizbollah combatants but also four civilians, including Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah.

At least four people have been killed on the Israeli side, including one civilian.

The unrest has displaced nearly 29,000 people across Lebanon, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

On October 15, UNIFIL said its headquarters was struck by a rocket but nobody was hurt.

Hizbollah said it attacked a number of Israeli positions on Saturday, using artillery, guided missiles and other weapons.

Israel’s army confirmed that “several anti-tank missile and mortar shell launches” had been fired at its posts along the border, indicating they “fell in open areas”.

It said its tanks and artillery were “responding with fire towards the origin of the launches and striking Hizbollah military infrastructure in Lebanon”.

 

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