Hezbollah Accused of Deliberately Killing UN Peacekeeper in Lebanon
Hezbollah Accused of Deliberately Killing UN Peacekeeper.
BEIRUT: Hezbollah members have been accused by a military court of intentionally killing an Irish UNIFIL soldier and injuring others in an ambush of their vehicle in southern Lebanon.
Judge Fadi Sawan ruled in a provisional decision after concluding investigations into the Dec.
14 incident in Al-Aqabiya.
The soldier was shot in the head as he tried to drive his stricken vehicle to safety, and four others were injured when the vehicle overturned.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Lebanese Army's Intelligence Directorate said that at least one person, identified as Mohammad Ayad, was the one who fired the shots and was handed over by Hezbollah.
The others fled, and arrest warrants were issued against them in absentia.
Judge Sawan called for the prosecution of Ayad and four other fugitives, and recommended sentences ranging from 20 years in jail to the death penalty.
Lebanese law applies to crimes committed against UNIFIL troops under an agreement between the state and the UN.
Article 549, subsection 5 of the Lebanese penal code was invoked by Judge Sawan.
Sawan said that there was a single criminal project among those who attacked the UNIFIL-affiliated vehicle, with the aim of forming a gang.
His report said that the attack began when the UNIFIL vehicle lost its way while traveling to Beirut.
A captain in another vehicle radioed the lost soldiers, only to hear screaming and the sounds of sticks and iron pipes pounding against metal.
The soldiers appealed for help as they were "trapped in an ambush," and one of the occupants was heard to say: "We're finished." The report said that several CCTV devices recorded footage and audio of the incident, including one person arriving in a car who was heard saying: "We are Hezbollah." Another voice caught on surveillance called out for "Hadi" and "Abbas," and a third voice said: "You fool, we are Hezbollah." Attackers surrounded the str