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U.N. Condemns Attack, Calls for Respect of Freedom of Movement of UNIFIL

The U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Friday’s attack against a French UNIFIL patrol in southern Lebanon, hoping the perpetrators will be identified and calling for the respect of the freedom of movement of peacekeepers.

In a statement, the members of the Security Council condemned “in the strongest terms the terrorist attack” and “all attempts to threaten the security and stability of Lebanon.”

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U.S. Condemns Attack on UNIFIL, Says Lebanon Should Tackle Security Issues in South

The United States on Friday condemned a roadside bomb attack in Lebanon that wounded five French peacekeepers, and urged Beirut to tackle its security problems in the south of the country.

The attack on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) hit a French patrol on the southern outskirts of the coastal city of Tyre, and two civilians were also wounded.

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Paris: We Haven't Yet Linked between UNIFIL Attack, Syria Crisis

The French foreign ministry said Friday Paris did not have enough information that allows it to link between the attack on its troops in southern Lebanon and the active role France is playing concerning the situations in Syria.

“We have not yet linked” between the attack and the Syrian crisis, foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

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U.S., U.N. Urge Restraint after Lebanon-Israel Cross-Border Fire

The United States on Tuesday called on all sides to exercise restraint after rockets fired from Lebanon slammed into Israel and Israeli forces retaliated.

"We call on all parties to exercise restraint," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

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Report: France Mulling to Downsize UNIFIL Troops

France is mulling to downsize its troops in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon early next year, informed French sources told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat on Saturday.

The sources said the reduction in the number of French soldiers from the current 12,000 would come when UNIFIL Commander Maj. Gen. Alberto Asarta’s mandate expires.

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UNIFIL Marks United Nations Day

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon celebrated on Monday the 66th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations in a ceremony at its headquarters in Naqoura.

During this global observance of the U.N. Day, UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas presented certificates of recognition to eight Lebanese staff members who have completed 30 years of service with UNIFIL.

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Ten Lebanese, Palestinians Charged with Planning to Attack Army, UNIFIL

The military court sentenced on Tuesday ten Lebanese and Palestinians to several years of hard labor for planning to target the Lebanese army and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

They were also accused of belonging to a terrorism group, attacking civil and military institutions, and possessing arms and explosives that they used to terrorize people and attack UNIFIL.

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Singh Denies Report on Possible Ending of UNIFIL Mission

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Spokesperson Neeraj Singh on Wednesday denied a media report that he had warned Lebanese officials of “the possibility of ending UNIFIL’s mission if it was attacked again.”

“These remarks are totally baseless and I did not give such a statement to anyone,” Singh said, in remarks published in Arabic by state-run National News Agency.

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Youths Assault French Peacekeepers Patrol in Aita al-Shaab

The army ended an overnight clash that erupted between a French Patrol in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and a number of youths in the southern town of Aita al-Shaab, the National News Agency reported on Wednesday.

A number of youths assaulted the French patrol and pelted it with stones on Tuesday night after blocking its way, the NNA said.

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U.N. Extends UNIFIL Mission, Condemns Attacks on Peace Keepers

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned attacks on U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon as it renewed the key force's mandate for another year.

Two roadside bomb attacks have hit the 12,000-strong UNIFIL force in the past four months while Israeli and Lebanese troops have opened fire at each other on the unofficial border that the peacekeepers are meant to police.

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