UN launches investigation into blast that injured three peacekeepers

UN launches investigation into blast that injured three peacekeepers

The United Nations peacekeeping force in south Lebanon (UNIFIL) has announced it will investigate an explosion in the Rmeish area that injured four unarmed peacekeepers.

The blast happened along the Blue Line that separates Israel from Lebanon and Golan Heights.

In a statement released on Saturday, UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said that the casualties were evacuated for medical treatment. They included three military observers from the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) and a Lebanese language assistant.

The Lebanese state-run National News Agency reported that the UN peacekeepers were “subjected to an Israeli strike” carried out by drones. However Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adraee said that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) did not target any UNIFIL vehicles in the Rmeish area.

Tenenti explained that the UNTSO observers, who are part of Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), support UNIFIL in implementing the force’s mandate. This includes monitoring the cessation of hostilities, helping to ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and assisting the Lebanese government in securing the country’s borders.

The blast came as clashes between the Israeli military and Hezbollah militants escalated in recent weeks. Both sides have been exchanging fire since the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza broke out, propelling concerns that the near-daily clashes along the border known as the Blue Line could become a full-scale war.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the explosion and expressed “grave concern” at the daily exchanges of fire between armed groups in Lebanon and Israeli forces since the outbreak of the war.