Monday 23 September 2019

Irish troops are forced to shelter in bunkers from Israeli strikes

Danger: Smoke from Israeli shells in Maroun Al-Ras, in southern Lebanon. Photo: REUTERS/Aziz Taher
Danger: Smoke from Israeli shells in Maroun Al-Ras, in southern Lebanon. Photo: REUTERS/Aziz Taher
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Irish peacekeeping troops spent several hours under protection in specially constructed bunkers after their area of operations in south Lebanon was struck by Israeli mortar fire.

The peacekeepers, members of the 114th infantry battalion, were caught up in a firefight between the Israeli army and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah faction yesterday afternoon.

Most of the 450-strong battalion went into "groundhog" - taking cover in the bunkers - as mortars and artillery shells fell close to their positions.

None of the troops was injured and the Defence Forces here said all personnel were safe.

The Israeli army returned fire after one of its bases came under attack from Hezbollah militants using anti-tank guided missiles. The Israelis said a military ambulance also came under attack but there were no casualties.

Hezbollah later took responsibility for the attack.

Israelis at the Golan Heights. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo
Israelis at the Golan Heights. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

The Irish battalion is due to end its six-month rotation in south Lebanon in November.

Irish Independent

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