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Irish peacekeeping troops 'safe and accounted for' after death of Spanish soldier

The Spanish soldier was killed when the Israeli military shelled border areas in southern Lebanon.

Image: Irish Defence Forces via Flickr

MINISTER FOR DEFENCE Simon Coveney has said he is concerned about events in southern Lebanon after the killing of a Spanish soldier but sought to assure the Irish public that Irish peacekeepers in the area are safe.

The Spanish soldier was killed when the the Israeli military shelled border areas after a Hezbollah attack that left two Israeli soldiers dead.

The 36-year-old corporal was part of the 10,000-strong peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon which includes a number of Irish soldiers. Speaking today, Coveney said the area in which the Spanish soldier was killed is not part of the area of operations for the Irish contingent.

He said all Defence Forces personnel there are “safe and accounted for” and that all neccessary force protection measures are being implemented.

I am fully aware that peacekeeping operations are not without risk, however the safety of our troops is my priority. I am extremely concerned at the recent turn of events and would urge restraint on all sides.

“I would like to extend my personal condolences to my colleague the Spanish Minister for Defence, the Spanish Armed Forces, and family of the peacekeeper killed in Southern Lebanon on this unfortunate and unacceptable development,” he commented. “I will continue to monitor developments in the region.”

- With reporting from AFP. 

Read: Hello soldiers: Taoiseach to meet the troops serving in Lebanon>

Read: Lebanon will do ‘everything in their power’ to pursue justice over killing of Irish soldiers>

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