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(VIDEO) Lebanese Media Claims Malaysian Peacekeepers Detained by Hezbollah, Later Released

(VIDEO) According to Lebanese media reports, the armored vehicle was transporting UNIFIL peacekeepers from Malaysia who were subsequently temporarily detained by Hezbollah fighters in the Hay al-Sellom neighborhood of Dahiyeh, south of Beirut, before being released.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Several Lebanese media outlets have reported that an armored vehicle belonging to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was detained by local residents, who subsequently handed over the UN peacekeepers to Hezbollah fighters.

According to Al-Monitor, a Lebanese media outlet, the incident involving the armored vehicle, local residents, and Hezbollah fighters recently took place in an area known as Hay al-Sellom in Dahiyeh, south of Beirut.

The vehicle, as claimed by Lebanese media, was transporting UNIFIL peacekeepers from Malaysia, who were then temporarily detained by Hezbollah fighters in the southern Beirut neighborhood before being released.

 Hay al-Sellom in Dahiyeh lies outside the operational area of UNIFIL, Lebanese media claim.

The Lebanese Arabic-language news portal Al-Modon released a video showing the interior of the armored vehicle used by the peacekeepers.

The video also displayed the steering wheel of the armored vehicle, marked with the words “Cendana Auto,” along with some personal belongings of the peacekeepers.

Speaking to the local television station LBCI, UNIFIL Deputy Spokesperson Kandice Ardiel confirmed the incident, leading to the temporary detention of the UNIFIL peacekeepers.

“A UN peacekeeping vehicle, on a routine logistical trip to Beirut, entered an unplanned road,” she stated.

However, Ardiel did not disclose the nationality of the peacekeepers involved in the incident.

The UNIFIL spokesperson also mentioned that besides the freedom of movement within the UNIFIL operational area, they are granted freedom of movement throughout Lebanon by the country’s government for administrative and logistical reasons.

“This freedom of movement is necessary for the implementation of Resolution 1701,” said Kandice.

UNIFIL

Sources told Al-Modon that equipment and cameras found inside the armored vehicle used by the UNIFIL peacekeepers were confiscated, and the individuals were handed over to a Hezbollah security committee.

They suspect that the individuals were taking photographs in the area, according to the Lebanese media.

The UN peacekeepers from the Malaysian Battalion were subsequently released and handed over to the Lebanese Armed Forces, as reported by the media.

Another Lebanese newspaper, Al-Akhbar, cited by the LBCI portal, also confirmed that the incident in the Hay al-Sellom area of Dahiyeh involved the armored vehicle carrying Malaysian peacekeepers.

The newspaper stated that this incident was not the first of its kind and that “altercations” between international military forces and local residents had occurred before.

However, Al-Akhbar noted that the sensitivity of the incident stemmed from a “mistake” in an area known to be a stronghold of fighters, especially during conflicts with enemies.

UNIFIL
Dahiyeh, Beirut. (Wikipedia)

 

As reported, the incident involving UNIFIL peacekeepers from Malaysia occurred in the Hay al-Sellom area of Dahiyeh, south of Beirut, known as a Hezbollah stronghold.

Dahiyeh is a “sensitive” area in terms of security.

On January 2, Israel launched an airstrike in Dahiyeh that killed a senior Hamas leader, Saleh al-Arouri.

Dahiyeh is a neighborhood in Beirut that serves as a stronghold for the Hezbollah movement but also houses Hamas offices in the Mediterranean country.

The media reports state that in addition to Arouri, two senior commanders of the al-Qassam Brigades and four others were killed.

Arouri was the deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau and the founder of the group’s military wing in the West Bank. — DSA

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