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July 27th, 2011

LEBANON – Five French soldiers working for the United Nations peacekeeping force were wounded after a roadside bomb exploded near the city of Sidon in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, July 26.

  • The soldiers sustained wounds to the hands and face. Three were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
  • No group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) convoy.
  • Approximately 12,000 soldiers and civilian police work under the UNIFIL in southern Lebanon as part of its aim to monitor a cease-fire in the 2006 war between Israel and the Hezbollah militia.
  • The UNIFIL expanded after the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah. Italy, France and Spain form the largest contingent of soldiers in the UNIFIL. France comprises of 1,600 members.

Original sources: Reuters; AFP; AGI; AP; Bloomberg; Al Jazeera English; CNN; The Daily Star; Washington Post; Jerusalem Post; Irish Times; Xinhua.

Analysts available for comment:

Raghida Dergham is a Lebanese-American commentator and senior diplomatic correspondent for Al Hayat, the leading Arabic daily. She is also a political analyst for NBC.

CONTACT: raghida.dergham@theglobalexperts.org

Location: North America

Languages: English; Arabic

James Blake is an intelligence analyst for the Risk Advisory Group where he works on a variety of international security issues, including managing WorldAware, a product that informs clients throughout the world on issues of political and security risks. He also initiated the group’s intelligence alerting service.

CONTACT: james.blake@theglobalexperts.org

Location: West Europe

Languages: Arabic; English

Henry Wilkinson is a recognized expert on insurgency and conflict in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, and terrorism analysis. He is the head intelligence analyst and Associate Director at Janusian, the security and political risk practice of The Risk Advisory Group plc.

CONTACT: henry.wilkinson@theglobalexperts.org

Location: West Europe

Language: English

Alon Ben-Meir, Ph.D. is an expert on Middle East politics and affairs, specializing in peace negotiations between Israel and the Arab states. For the past 25 years, he has been directly involved in negotiations and operated as a liaison between top Arab and Israeli officials. Currently a senior fellow at New York University’s School of Global Affairs, he frequently comments on Israeli-Lebanese relations.

CONTACT: alon.ben-meir@theglobalexperts.org

Location: North America

Languages: English; Arabic; Hebrew

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