Lebanon Rocket Launch, UN Peacekeepers Help Disarm

Published: Fri 16 Jan 2009 10:12 AM
After Lebanon Rocket Launch, UN Peacekeepers Help Disarm Others Ready To Fire
New York, Jan 15 2009 2:10PM
After the second time in a week that rockets were fired from Lebanese territory towards Israel yesterday, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Lebanese armed forces found a launching site and disarmed other rockets that were about to fire, a UN spokesperson said.
Also today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned yesterday’s attack, as he did in the case of last week’s rocket launches, remaining “deeply concerned” over any escalation of tension along the so-called Blue Line that separates Israeli and Lebanese sides, at a time when fighting continues in Gaza.
According to UNIFIL, the mission launched an investigation into yesterday’s firing incident in close cooperation with the parties, intensively patrolling the area where the rockets had originated with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
Hidden amidst trees, close to a school in the general area of El Hebbariye, the joint search party discovered three rockets equipped with timers ready to be fired, on a launch pad wired with an explosive device.
The rockets were deactivated on the ground before they could launch.
In the same area, the investigation team found evidence of two rockets that had been fired in the direction of Israel, and a second UNIFIL team discovered fragments of two rockets in the area of Ain Arab, on Lebanese territory.
UNIFIL said that its Force Commander, Major-General Claudio Graziano, is in contact with the Command of the LAF and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), and has stressed the importance of UNIFIL being able to complete the investigation to ascertain as soon as possible all the facts relating to what it called a “very serious incident.”
The mission will submit the results of the investigation to the UN Security Council.
In the meantime, the Force Commander has urged maximum restraint and is working with both parties to maintain the cessation of hostilities, UNIFIL said.

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