Unifil control shifts to Italy

Hezbollah leader guarantees the safety of troops from the UN mission.

    UN forces patrol southern Lebanon villages and monitor activity on the Israel border

    The peacekeepers are charged with making sure the border is not violated by either side and border observation is one of their daily tasks, Khodr reported.
     

    She said: "Some of the marking outlining the UN's blue line were erased during the war last summer and new ones need to be put in place to avoid disputes over possible breaches."

     

    Border control

     

    Unifil's area of operations extends from the Lebanon-Israel border to the Litani river.

     

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    More than 12,000 UN soldiers from 26 countries and about 15,000 Lebanese army soldiers patrol an area of 2,000 square kilometres - an area free of weapons except those of the Lebanese army.

     

    Major Pedro Diaz Herrero, spokesman of Unifil's Spanish troops, said: "We report any illegal activity to our headquarters and the Lebanese army. And the Lebanese army comes quickly to solve the problem and act against any illegal activity."

     

    Another daily task of the force is to patrol the villages in south Lebanon.

     

    Khodr reported that soldiers from the Spanish contingent previously engaged in a minor quarrel with residents of a village just outside their area of deployment.

     

    Unifil said they were inspecting routes, but the locals accused them of spying on Hezbollah.

     

    Hezbollah still enjoys support in south Lebanon and new posters and flags have been posted along the border, Khodr said.

     

    She said: "It was a response to Israel, which said the UN deployment was a major achievement of the war since Hezbollah fighters and weapons were pushed away from the frontier."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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