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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 16:54 GMT
Bomb strikes UN patrol in Lebanon
Map of Lebanon
A roadside bomb has hit a UN peacekeeping patrol south of the Lebanese capital of Beirut, security officials have said.

Two Irish soldiers were lightly wounded when the device exploded near their vehicle, UN officials said.

The blast occurred on a road between the towns of Rmaileh and nearby Sidon, about 35km (22 miles) south of Beirut.

A UN spokesman at the site of the explosion said that it was too early to tell who was behind the attack.

But he noted that Unifil had received threats from groups linked to al-Qaeda.

"We had comprehensive security and protective measures in place and we have to wait for the result of the investigation," he said.

Initial reports had said the injured peacekeepers were Spanish.

It was the third attack on the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon (Unifil) since it was expanded to more than 13,000 troops following the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese political and militant movement Hezbollah.

A blast in June killed six UN peacekeepers, three Colombians and three Spaniards, near the border with Israel.

In July, a roadside bomb hit a UN patrol of Tanzanian military police in southern Lebanon, causing no casualties.

Past attacks have been linked to Islamist extremist groups.

The multinational Unifil peacekeeping force has been deployed in Lebanon since 1978.

Bomb hits Lebanon UN peacekeepers
16 Jul 07 |  Middle East
Lebanon blast kills UN soldiers
24 Jun 07 |  Middle East
Country profile: Lebanon
24 Nov 07 |  Country profiles

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