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(VIDEO) Malaysian UNIFIL Peacekeeping Members In Lebanon Safe – Defence Minister Confirms

(VIDEO) Several days ago, Defence Security Asia cited Lebanese media reports alleging that UNIFIL armored vehicles purportedly carrying Malaysian peacekeeping members were detained by local residents and handed over to Hezbollah fighters in the Hay al-Sellom area of Dahiyeh, south of Beirut.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) – Malaysia’s Defence Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin has confirmed the safety of Malaysian peacekeeping members of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Speaking to the national news agency of Malaysia (BERNAMA) when contacted today, Mohamed Khaled briefly stated that further details would be released in an official statement later.

According to reports from Lebanese media recently, UNIFIL armored vehicles carrying Malaysian peacekeeping members were reportedly detained by local residents and handed over to Hezbollah fighters in the Hay al-Sellom area of Dahiyeh, south of Beirut, recently.

Lebanese news portal, Al-Modon, also released a video showing the condition of the UNIFIL armored vehicle, which revealed the presence of the words “Cendana Auto” on the steering wheel and several personal belongings of the peacekeeping members.

BERNAMA is still trying to obtain confirmation from the Joint Force Headquarters, which coordinates operational needs and missions under the UN.

Speaking to the local television station Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI), UNIFIL Deputy Spokesperson Kandice Ardiel confirmed the incident which led to the temporary detention of UNIFIL peacekeeping members.

“A UN peacekeeping convoy, during a routine logistic journey to Beirut, entered an unplanned route,” according to Kandice.

However, she did not disclose the nationality of the peacekeeping members involved in the incident.

In addition to freedom of movement within UNIFIL’s operational area, Kandice stated that they are also allowed to move throughout Lebanon by the Lebanese government for administrative purposes and logistical factors as stipulated in the implementation of Resolution 1701.

Khaled
Malaysia’s Defence Minister Khaled Nordin

 

Meanwhile, Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, quoted by the LBCI portal, also confirmed the incident in Hay al-Sellom in Dahiyeh involving an armored vehicle carrying Malaysian peacekeeping members.

According to Al-Akhbar, the incident is considered sensitive and stemmed from the ‘mistake’ of entering an area known as a stronghold of fighters, particularly during conflicts with adversaries.

The newspaper also stated that this incident is not the first of its kind and “misunderstandings” (altercations) between international military forces and local residents have occurred before. – DSA

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