Lebanese military court charges seven over killing of Irish peacekeeper

Unifil says it has not yet received any official information from the Lebanese authorities

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A military tribunal in Lebanon has charged seven people over an attack that killed an Irish peacekeeper in southern Lebanon in December, Reuters reported.

They face charges "from murder and attempted murder to destroying vehicles".

Pvt Sean Rooney, 24, was killed while on a UN peacekeeping mission when his convoy came under attack in the southern village of Al Aqbiya on December 14. Another Irish soldier suffered serious head injuries while two UN Interim Force (Unifil) members were treated for minor wounds.

One of the suspects was already in detention after Hezbollah, the powerful Iran-backed armed militia which has a major presence in south Lebanon handed him over to the Lebanese authorities a week ago, the news agency reported.

The man was suspected of firing shots at a Unifil convoy as it drove through southern Lebanon back to Beirut. Hezbollah has officially denied any involvement in the killing.

A Unifil representative told The National that they have not yet received any official information from the Lebanese authorities concerning the arrests.

The killing is the subject of three separate investigations, by Unifil, the Irish Defence Forces and the Lebanese authorities led by a military prosecutor.

A week after the attack Pvt Rooney’s body was repatriated to Ireland, where he was buried with full military honours.

Updated: January 05, 2023, 5:23 PM