Before Friday, the most recent attack against UNIFIL personnel was on Jan. 8, 2008, when a road side bomb exploded on the coastal highway near Rmeileh beside a jeep carrying Irish soldiers, lightly wounding two of them. The bomb consisted of 10 kg of explosive buried about 15 cm underground beside the median strip and was detonated by remote control, according to investigators.The claim was repeated in the As-Safir newspaper as reported by Palestine Today.
Friday’s bombing of the Italian convoy took place just 20 m from where the Irish were attacked in 2008. Investigators are still examining the remains of the explosive charge, although initial reports suggest it was of a similar size to the 2008 bomb.
There are other similarities between the two incidents besides the location and size of the bomb. Hours before the Irish were hit in 2008, two 107mm Katyusha rockets were fired from south Lebanon and struck the Israeli border settlement of Shelomi. It was the second rocket attack against Israel since the 2006 war.
Last week, the Lebanese Army caught a militant planning to fire rockets from somewhere near Hasbaya, just outside UNIFIL’s area of operations, according to security sources. The claim remains unconfirmed and the army released no statement on the alleged arrest of the militant.
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