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'Bean bags' fill border riot-control role

IRISH peacekeepers have been trained to use non-lethal bean-bag rounds to prevent demonstrators scaling the boundary fence separating south Lebanon from Israel.

A company of more than a hundred soldiers are ready for action if riots erupt around the controversial Blue Line.

That training is now seen as invaluable following an incident at Maroun al Ras on May 15 when Palestinian demonstrators attempted to storm the fence and up to 10 of them were killed and more than a hundred injured when Israeli soldiers opened fire.

The Irish crowd riot control (CRC) have been equipped with what are known as less than lethal weapons, including bean bags -- small fabric bags filled with lead shot and fired as shotgun shells -- which impact heavily on a targeted figure without penetrating the skin or causing serious injury.

They will be backed up by armed troops and armoured personnel carriers.

Irish Independent