Memorial as Irish peacekeeper killed in Lebanon flown home


United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon took half in a memorial service Sunday because the physique of their slain Irish comrade was repatriated, days after being shot useless in an assault.

Private Sean Rooney, 23, was killed and three others had been wounded Wednesday after the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) convoy got here underneath fireplace near the village of Al-Aqbiya within the south of the Mediterranean nation.

“Sean Rooney made the hardest sacrifice a soldier can do: giving his life while serving lasting peace in Lebanon,” UNIFIL commander Major General Aroldo Lazaro Saenz stated.

UNIFIL has demanded a “speedy” investigation into the assault, the motivations of which stay unclear.

Dozens of peacekeepers sporting blue berets in addition to Lebanese troopers paid respects as Rooney’s coffin — draped in each Irish and UN flags — was carried onto a aircraft by comrades within the capital Beirut.

UNIFIL acts as a buffer between Lebanon and Israel, neighbours which stay technically at warfare. The drive operates within the south near the border, a stronghold of Iran-backed group Hezbollah.

Hezbollah safety chief Wafic Safa has stated the killing was “unintentional”.

A Lebanese defence ministry spokesman stated Beirut was decided to “bring to justice” these liable for the assault.

It is the primary loss of life of a UNIFIL member in a violent incident in Lebanon since January 2015, when a Spanish peacekeeper was killed by Israeli fireplace.

Witnesses stated villagers within the Al-Aqbiya space blocked Rooney’s car after it took a highway alongside the Mediterranean coast not usually utilized by the UN drive.

Al-Aqbiya is simply exterior UNIFIL’s space of operations, the drive stated.

A Lebanese judicial supply instructed AFP the motive force was killed by a bullet to the top, certainly one of seven that penetrated the car.

The three passengers had been wounded when the car hit a pylon and overturned.

UNIFIL was arrange in 1978 to observe the withdrawal of Israeli forces after they invaded Lebanon in reprisal for a Palestinian assault.

Israel withdrew from south Lebanon in 2000 however fought a devastating 2006 warfare with Hezbollah and its allies.