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Suspect in killing of Irish troops faces being deported from US

A MAN suspected of killing two Irish soliders in Lebanon 34 years ago is set to be deported back to his home country from the United States.

Mahmoud Bazzi (71) admitted lying to US authorities in order to gain access to the country.

He will now be deported back to Lebanon where he could ultimately stand trial for the abduction, torture and double killing on April 18, 1980.

Three Irish soldiers were abducted, allegedly by Bazzi - a Christian militia leader - while they were serving with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.

John O'Mahony from Kerry was shot twice but survived the ordeal.

However, private Derek Smallhorne (31 ), a father of three from Dublin and Thomas Barrett (30), another father of three, from Cork, were tortured and killed.

The men were just a week away from completing their Lebanon tour.

Their killings were amongst the worst atrocities in the history of Irish involvement in UN missions in the volatile Middle Eastern country.

Bazzi admitted to the US authorities that he had entered the country in 1994 without proper documentation and provided false information that led to permanent resident status being granted.

He now faces repatriation and will remain in custody pending his removal from the United States.