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Attack on UN peacekeepers in Lebanon; Irish soldier killed……another injured

Lebanon: An Irish soldier was killed in an attack on a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Another Irishman was wounded. Private Sean Rooney (24), from Newtowncunningham, Donegal, was killed. The attack occurred on Wednesday night, around 9 p.m. Irish time, as the convoy was travelling to Beirut.

The attack targeted two armoured vehicles carrying eight UNIFIL personnel from the 121st Infantry Battalion. Four injured people were transported to Raee Hospital in Sidon, which is 43 kilometres from Beirut. But by that time, Private Rooney had died, the Defense Force said. Private Shane Kearney (23) was in critical condition.

The injuries of the other two soldiers were not serious. The three injured soldiers were later transferred to the UN-run hospital in Hammoud. The other four were not injured.

According to UNIFIL, the attack occurred outside the area of operations, near the village of Al-Aqbiya.

Pvt. Rooney joined the Army in March 2019. His home unit was the 27th Infantry Battalion in Dundalk.

Private Kearney is from Killeagh, Cork. joined the defence forces in October 2018. His home unit is 1 Cavalry Squadron at Collins Barracks in Cork. Kearney had previously served with the 117th Infantry Battalion overseas.

A prayer service for Shane Kearney was held at St. John the Baptist Church in Killeagh, with approximately 300 people in attendance. Higgins stated.

The senior Hezbollah leader denies involvement in the attack.

Wafiq Safa, a senior Hezbollah leader, stated that he was not involved in the attack. Condolences are expressed for this incident. This is an incident involving Al-Aqbiya residents and the Irish unit. Wafiq Safa said that the party should not be associated with this.
Najib Mikati, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister, expressed regret over the incident. The Lebanese army expressed its condolences but provided no further information about the incident.
Ireland does not trust Hezbollah.

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney stated that the declaration of non-involvement in the attack was unacceptable to him. He would not accept this explanation until an investigation revealed the whole truth. Lebanon has agreed to fully cooperate with the investigation. The UN Secretary General has been asked to use all of the UN’s resources in this regard. The truth is expected to emerge from separate investigations conducted by Ireland, the United Nations, and Lebanon.

Chief of Defense Staff Sean Clancy said the death of Private Rooney, who had served in Lebanon for decades, was “deeply distressing.” He said that it has been more than 20 years since a death occurred.

Irish Samachar English News

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