Unknown suspects assaulted a group of personnel in Southern Lebanon associated with UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon personnel, AP reported on Wednesday.

Attackers vandalized vehicles and stole official items, according to a report quoting a U.N. official.

Responding to the incident, UNIFIL called on Lebanese authorities to “investigate quickly and thoroughly, and prosecute all those responsible for these crimes,” said Kandice Ardiel, a UNIFIL press official. She added that the attack occurred on Tuesday night.

According to local Lebanese media, residents of Bint Jbeil in Southern Lebanon “scuffled with Irish peacekeepers who they said were taking photographs of residential homes,” said AP. The UNIFIL force was not being accompanied by any Lebanese forces.

Bint Jbeil, a recognized Hezbollah stronghold, was the scene of heavy fighting in the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

A U.N. spokesperson said that contrary to claims, “the peacekeepers were not taking photos and were not on private property,” adding that “the peacekeepers were on their way to meet members of the Lebanese army for a routine patrol.”

“UNIFIL condemns attacks on men and women serving the cause of peace, which are violations of both Lebanese and international law,” stated the spokesperson.

A similar incident with peacekeepers in Southern Lebanon late last year was condemned by Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry.

JNS

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