Tuesday 17 January 2017

Peacekeeper deaths 'suspect' held

Published 21/07/2014 | 22:14

Irish defence forces preparing for a peacekeeping deployment
Irish defence forces preparing for a peacekeeping deployment

US federal agents have arrested a man the Irish government calls a suspect in the abduction, torture and killing of two Irish United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon 34 years ago.

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US Immigration and Customs Enforcement have arrested Mahmoud Bazzi at his home in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.

He has been jailed pending a July 31 hearing.

Spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said it arrested Bazzi for "immigration violations", adding the US "is committed to rooting out alleged human rights violators" who seek a safe haven.

Bazzi denies killing Derek Smallhorne and Thomas Barrett, telling the Detroit Free Press he once falsely confessed to the killings because he feared a Lebanese militia would kill him otherwise.

Irish Defence Secretary Simon Coveney welcomed Bazzi's arrest and says his government has continually pursued the case.

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