UNIFIL soldiers in southern Lebanon
UNIFIL soldiers in southern Lebanon Flash 90

Unknown perpetrators attacked a group of UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, vandalizing their vehicles and stealing official items from them, a UN official quoted by The Associated Press said on Wednesday.

The UN force, known as UNIFIL, called on Lebanese authorities to "investigate quickly and thoroughly, and prosecute all those responsible for these crimes," said Kandice Ardiel, a UNIFIL press official. She added that the attack occurred on Tuesday night.

Local media reported that residents of the southern town of Bint Jbeil scuffled with Irish peacekeepers who they said were taking photographs of residential homes. The reports added that the UN force was not accompanied by Lebanese troops.

Ardiel said that contrary to the disinformation being spread, the peacekeepers were not taking photos and were not on private property. She added that the peacekeepers were on their way to meet members of the Lebanese army for a routine patrol.

"UNIFIL condemns attacks on men and women serving the cause of peace, which are violations of both Lebanese and international law," Ardiel said, adding that UNIFIL also condemns those who manipulate local residents to serve their purposes.

UNIFIL 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.

UNIFIL was originally created to oversee the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the area in 1978. Its mission was expanded after the 2006 war between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorist group so that peacekeepers could deploy along the Lebanon-Israel border, to help Lebanese troops extend their authority into their country's south for the first time in decades.

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