Marvellous!!! This was why Lebanon was never on the news, wasn’t it? Because there were actual dangers of be killed in action. I hope that now they are not given the medal-after-dying-because-of-slipping-over-a-banana-skin. Because Spain is in this war. Whatever this disgusting Government tells us about it.
Four United Nations peacekeepers have been killed and several others wounded by an explosion in southern Lebanon, security officials say. The blast badly damaged two vehicles transporting Spanish peacekeepers from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) near the border with Israel. It is unclear if the soldiers were targeted or hit unexploded ordinance left over from last summer’s war. Cluster bombs and mines have killed 30 people in the area in the last year. But radical groups in Lebanon have also threatened to attack the UN peacekeepers, says the BBC’s Kim Ghattas. For the last five weeks, the Lebanese army has been battling militants from the Fatah al-Islam group near the northern city of Tripoli, who are apparently inspired by al-Qaeda. Authorities have said that Fatah al-Islam militants who have been arrested and interrogated have confessed there was a plan to attack the UN, our correspondent adds.
UDPATE: According to Spanish press:
An armour-plated vehicle was totally destroyed and another one was damaged. The first data were pointing to an explosion caused by a mine, which could be old or prepared to explode when the patrol was passing near. But, sources from Lebanese security points out that the explosion was caused by a device activated by remote control.
The most important part of the 1.100 military men serving at Lebanon are from the Parachute Brigade (Brigada Paracaidista -BRIPAC) and from the Terrestrial Logistical Force.
Their replacement was scheduled to begin on next July 7th and to end on July 16th (festivity of the Virgin of Carmen).
According to witnesses, some minutes later a second explosion was heared, which could have been caused by the explosion of the oil deposit or to the munition it transported.
The Spanish Defense Ministry has only announced the death of two of the soldiers.
UDPATE 2: Hizbullah has condemned the attack. Don’t make me laugh! Some days ago, they have accused the troops of spying for Israel! Huh, that would have been a good task indeed!
UPDATE 3: The vehicule was similar to this one:
UPDATE 4: Last news show the explosion has killed five, not four.
UPDATE 5: Spanish Defence Minister, José Antonio Alonso, points to a premeditated attack on the troops. Three were Colombian, the other two Spanish:
Alonso explained that an explosion has happened -car bomb or other explosive device, activated with a remote control-, when the Spanish BMR (armoured-vehicle) was pasing by. In the vehicle there were 8 FINUL soldiers. “It is without doubt a premeditated attack“, he said, ruling out the possibility of the explosion being caused by a mine. The information was corroborated afterwards by policial sources from the region: it has been a car bomb, white “Renault Rapid”, with a false plate. It is possible that there were suicide bombers inside.
The three soldiers, of Colombian origin are, Jefferson Vargas Moya, 21-years-old; Jackson Castaño Abadía, 20-years-old; y Juan Erickson Posada, 20-years-old. The two Spanish are Jonathan Galea García, 18-years-old, from Madrid; and Juan Vidoria Díaz, 20-years-old from Avila. In the same explosion, another three were hurt: Enrique Vázquez Matei (21-years-old from Madrid), David Puerta Ruiz (19-years-old from Sevilla) y Juan Paz Soler (19-years-old, from Mallorca).
Mike, you were right.
UPDATE 6: Some photos.
Spanish soldiers carry the dead body of a companion.
The exploded BMR (armoured vehicle).
Soldiers searching for help after the explosion.
UPDATE 7: Six dead. Another Spanish has died.
UPDATE 8: Madrid has decreed a day of official mourning.
They do not want to call it a war, to prevent the anti-war from protesting. Because Iraq and Lebanon are not so different.
Condolences: The Royal Family, the Popular Party, Romano Prodi (Italian PM), Arturo Parisi (Italian Minister of Defense), Javier Solana, Marc Reguev (Israeli Government’s speaker), Condoleeza Rice, Bernard Kouchner (French FM), Emile Lahud (Lebanese President).