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UN to launch investigation into peacekeeper’s death in S Lebanon

UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano salutes coffin of departed Spanish peacekeeper Lance Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo. (Photo: UNIFIL)

The United Nations is set to launch an inquiry into the death of a Spanish peacekeeper in clashes between Lebanon and Israel last month.

A senior UN official said on Wednesday that a fact-finding report by the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was already being prepared and its result would be presented to the UN Security Council in the coming days.

"We are straight away launching a board of inquiry to look into the wider aspects of all of this," said the official, who asked not to be named. "These were violations (of ceasefire accords), but we need to know more."

Roman Oyarzun Marchesi, the Spanish envoy to the UN, had earlier asked for a full investigation into the death of the 36-year-old, who Madrid believes was killed by the Israeli regime.

"It was because of this escalation of violence, and it came from the Israeli side," the Spanish envoy told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York City after a Security Council meeting on January 28.

Lance Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo was killed in an exchange of fire between Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah and the Israeli regime earlier in the day.

Ten days earlier, six Hezbollah members and Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, an Iranian general, lost their lives in an Israeli aerial assault on the Syrian section of the Golan Heights.

Hezbollah launched the January 28 retaliatory attack on a military convoy in northern occupied territories, killing two Israeli soldiers and destroying at least nine Israeli military vehicles.


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