UNIFIL in Lebanon
UNIFIL in LebanonFlash 90

A mob seized equipment from a UNIFIL convoy in south Lebanon after blocking its route, the UN peacekeeping force said on Saturday, according to AFP.

The incident, which required the intervention of the Lebanese army, took place on Friday as the UNIFIL convoy passed through the village of Kaouthariyet Al-Saiyad on the way back to base, according to the statement.

“A large group of civilians... dispossessed the UNIFIL patrol of items and equipment,” the statement said.

The convoy was able to leave the village after the army intervened, “although the equipment was not returned to the peacekeepers,” it added.

Some 45 countries contribute peacekeepers to UNIFIL, which was set up in 1978 to patrol the border between Lebanon and Israel.

UNIFIL currently works to implement Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

According to the resolution, Hezbollah must not be allowed operate in southern Lebanon and the entire area of southern Lebanon must be free of any armed personnel and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon.

In August, the UN Security Council extended UNIFIL’s mandate by one year but also reduced its troop ceiling from 15,000 to 13,000.

The seizure of UNIFIL equipment by civilians is rare, but sporadic incidents take place between the force and members of the local population, who sometimes block patrol routes, according to AFP.