Six UNIFIL peacekeepers injured in explosion that targeted logistics convoy in Saida
(Updated statement by UNIFIL Spokesperson Neeraj Singh on the explosive attack against UNIFIL convoy in Saida, 27 July 2011)Last evening (26 July) at around 6 p.m. a UNIFIL logistics convoy of four vehicles was targeted by an explosion along the coastal highway on the southern end of the city of Saida/Sidon, outside UNIFIL's area of operations.
Six UNIFIL peacekeepers were injured in the explosion. Three of the injured were transported to hospital for treatment where their condition is stated to be stable. Three others with minor injuries were provided first aid on the spot.
UNIFIL forensics and investigation teams rushed to the scene of the explosion and are working with counterparts from the Lebanese Armed Forces to determine the facts and circumstances of the incident.
The explosion was clearly directed at the UNIFIL convoy. One Armoured Personnel Carrier in the convoy was hit by the blast and the protective armour in the vehicle helped mitigate the scale of injuries.
Further details are under investigation that has since been launched by the Lebanese authorities with the participation of UNIFIL forensics experts and investigators.
It is very important that the ongoing investigation goes forward on an urgent footing so that the perpetrators of the attack are swiftly identified and brought to justice.
At the same time, UNIFIL remains focused on its operations that continue in full measure in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces to carry out the mandated tasks under UN Security Council resolution 1701, towards stability and peace in southern Lebanon.
This is the second direct attack against UNIFIL in two months, the first being on 27 May when a UNIFIL logistics convoy was targeted by a remotely-controlled road-side bomb north of the city of Saida.
Security and safety of UNIFIL personnel and installations is of paramount importance. The Mission already has in place comprehensive security and protective arrangements, which are regularly reviewed and risk mitigating measures applied while ensuring mandate implementation. To this end, UNIFIL works in close coordination with the Lebanese authorities that have primary responsibility to maintain law and order, including security of UNIFIL personnel and installations.