3 UN military observers, a Lebanese interpreter were injured in an explosion while traveling along the southern border

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BEIRUT (AP) – Three United Nations military observers and a Lebanese translator were injured Saturday while walking along Lebanon’s southern border when a shell exploded near them. The UN peacekeeping operation in Lebanon he said.

Military observers are part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, which supports the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL.

The blast came as tensions between the Israeli army and Hezbollah militants have escalated in recent weeks. Both sides have been exchanging fire since the beginning Israel-Hamas war in Gaza started, causing concern that almost every day border disputes it can grow into a big war.

Lebanese media, citing security officials, said the Israeli airstrike targeted bystanders in the southern village of Wadi Katmoun near the border town of Rmeich. Hezbollah-run Al-Manar television said the plane’s strike injured three officers from Australia, Chile, and Norway, as well as a Lebanese translator.

An Israeli military official on the social network X, formerly Twitter, said: “Contrary to reports, the IDF did not hit a @UNIFIL-car in Rmeish this morning.”

UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said they were “investigating where the explosion started.”

“Looking at peacekeepers is unacceptable,” Tenenti told The Associated Press. “We reiterate our call for all actors to stop the ongoing firefight to avoid unnecessary casualties.”

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikat condemned this in his speech.

UNIFIL was created to oversee the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon after the Israeli invasion of 1978. The UN expanded its role after the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, allowing peacekeepers to be sent to Israel’s borders to support the troops. Lebanon is increasing its influence in the south of the country for the first time in decades.

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