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The Queen Elissa Hotel after the bomb explosion today. Mohammed Zaatari/AP/Press Association Images
Lebanon

Bombs explode 30km from Irish Defence Forces camp in Lebanon

The two explosions occurred at a hotel and off-license in the city of Tyre, about 30km from the Irish peacekeeping unit’s headquarters.

TWO BOMBS EXPLODED in the port city of Tyre in southern Lebanon this morning, about 30km away from the Irish Defence Forces camp.

No casualties were reported after the incident and the Irish Defence Forces confirmed there were no personnel injured.

Following the attacks, the communications office for the Irish troops tweeted that operations were continuing as normal.

The first bomb attack struck the pub at the Queen Elissa, a hotel popular with UN staff members, in the early hours of the morning.

Another explosion a few minutes later damaged an off-licence.

Although a vehicle belonging to an UN employee was struck by the first blast, it is not yet clear whether the attacks were targeted at the organisation’s staffers.

An official speaking to the Associated Press said a sample of the bomb was sent to Beirut for examinations. Tyre is a predominantly Muslim city and serving alcohol is common at hotels and restaurants.

The area was cordoned off by Lebanese troops and peacekeepers shortly after the explosions.

A spokesperson for the Defence Forces told TheJournal.ie that its personnel were not deployed to the site following the explosions as the area is outside its remit.

Irish troops were first deployed to Lebanon as observers in 1958. In 1978, the first Irish Battalion departed for the Middle East as part of the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL).

-Additional reporting by AP

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