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Sunday 25 February 2018

Peacekeeper deaths 'suspect' held

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.

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.

Press Association

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