UN investigates civilian obstruction of peacekeepers in southern Lebanon

31 December 2014

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has reported that a patrol of peacekeepers was obstructed on Tuesday afternoon by a group of civilians who used motor vehicles to block a road near the village of Ramyah.

According to a UN spokesperson in New York, a backup UNIFIL unit responding to the roadblock was prevented from reaching the first patrol by another group of civilians who also blocked the road.

During the standoff, the civilians, some of whom were carrying knives and small firearms, were aggressive towards the peacekeepers and tried to forcibly enter UNIFIL vehicles and snatch equipment, the spokesperson added.

This prompted the UNIFIL troops to undertake a controlled response by firing a warning shot in the air, after which the crowd dispersed. There were no injuries or damage to property reported.

An investigation into the incident is underway, headed by the UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces, to ascertain the facts and circumstances.

The situation in the area of operations is calm, said the UN, and added that UNIFIL condemns this aggressive conduct of some civilians towards peacekeepers, which is contrary to the spirit of UNIFIL’s relationship with the people of south Lebanon.

 

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