Breakdown: UN Convoy Attack in Lebanon Leaves Irish Peacekeeper Dead

Breakdown: UN Convoy Attack in Lebanon Leaves Irish Peacekeeper Dead

Date:

An Irish United Nations peacekeeper was killed and several others were wounded after unknown gunmen opened fire on a convoy heading to Beirut, which caused a vehicle to flip, late Wednesday night.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) did not provide many details when it released a statement on the shooting, only saying that “a peacekeeper was killed and three others were injured in an incident in Al-Aqbieh, just outside UNIFIL’s area of operations in south Lebanon.” The statement also offered condolences to the family of the killed peacekeeper and added that “Our thoughts are also with the local civilians who may have been injured or frightened in the incident.”

The statement concluded by saying “At the moment, details are sparse and conflicting. We are coordinating with the Lebanese Armed Forces, and have launched an investigation to determine exactly what happened.”

Well what happened?

According to the Irish Defense Forces a convoy of two Armored Utility Vehicles (AUVs) carrying eight UN personnel of the 121st Infantry Battalion were heading to Beirut Wednesday night. The purpose of the trip was to transport two members to the Beirut airport to return home to Ireland on compassionate grounds due to deaths in their families, Irish Defence Forces Chief of Staff Seán Clancy told RTE.

Associated Press, citing a personal familiar with the investigation into the shooting, reported that the convoy took a detour through the town of Al-Aqbiya, which is not part of the area under UNIFIL’s mandate. At a UN Security Council meeting, Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney stated that “The vehicles, for whatever reason, got separated, and then one of the vehicles was surrounded by what I can only describe as a mob, who were very aggressive towards the vehicles.” The convoy came under small arms fire at about 11:15 pm local time.

As the vehicles came under fire, Private Seán Rooney, 23, of Newtwoncunningham, was fatally shot in the head. While attempting to escape the gunfire, one of the AUVs crashed and flipped. In total, three other peacekeepers were wounded, one of which critically, and taken to the hospital, according to the Irish Defense Forces. It remains unclear if all of the casualties were from the same vehicle. It also remains unclear how fast UNIFIL response times were to the location of the shooting.

Two videos of the incident have begun to circulate online. One of which shows one of the UN vehicles speeding down a road as it came under fire from what was mostly likely an AK platform rifle. The other shows the aftermath from one of the AUVs flipping, where a peacekeeper can be seen wounded outside of the vehicle.

While the area is known for having a strong Hezbollah presence, the group has denied involvement. Pro-Hezbollah media have accused the convoy of hitting residents that were outside watching the World Cup match, which resulted in the shooting.

Irish, Lebanese, and UN officials have all launched investigations into the incident.

Atlas
Atlashttp://theatlasnews.co
Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.
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