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UN and national forces investigating reported explosion in southern Lebanon

13 October 2009 – The United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon said it is investigating, together with the national armed forces, a reported explosion that occurred on Monday in the southern town of Tayr Felsay.

A patrol from the UN force, known as UNIFIL, and a Lebanese patrol visited the site of the incident at around 11:30 last night. This morning, a UNIFIL investigation team, jointly with the Lebanese Armed Forces investigation team, inspected the site and the surrounding area.

“They are still in the process of analyzing the information and the available evidence to ascertain the circumstances and establish the facts concerning this incident,” UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters.

Michael Williams, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, said after a meeting today with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri that he was concerned about the reports of an explosion at Tayr Felsay.

“We are keeping a close eye on this, because of its relevance to resolution 1701,” adding that he would await the outcome of the investigations.

Adopted three years ago, resolution 1701 helped to end the 2006 war between Hizbollah and Israel. It also called for renewed respect for the Blue Line separating the Lebanese forces and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), the disarming of militias and an end to arms smuggling, among other elements.

Mr. Williams and Mr. Hariri also discussed the process of forming a government in Lebanon, which has still not taken place some four months after elections.

“The United Nations has repeatedly stressed the importance of forming the government as soon as possible to tackle the many challenges facing the country,” said Mr. Williams.

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