Beirut: The United Nations Interim Force
in Lebanon said on Saturday it has launched an investigation into a
roadside bomb blast that wounded six Italian peacekeepers, two
of them seriously, and two civilians.
"For now, all we can say is that UNIFIL`s forensics
team is working with the Lebanese army to investigate the
explosion," the mission`s spokesman, Neeraj Singh, said.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the bomb
attack which targeted a UNIFIL jeep on a main highway linking
the capital Beirut to south Lebanon, where the troops are
The explosion, which occurred at the entrance to the
mainly Sunni coastal city of Sidon, wounded two passers-by and
six Italian troops.
Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said today
in an interview with La Repubblica newspaper that Rome wants
to rapidly reduce the size of its contingent in the
"At the moment we have 1,780 soldiers, but it`s too
many. As we are no longer in command of the mission, then we
should reduce our contribution to 1,100 as soon as possible,"
he told the daily.
Friday`s blast came two days before the United Nations
marks Peacekeepers Day and shortly after a commemoration
ceremony for fallen troops was held in south Lebanon, an area
largely under the control of Lebanon`s Shiite militant