UN forces in Lebanon warned of possible attack: reports

December 17th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Beirut, Dec 17 (DPA) UN peacekeeping forces operating in Lebanon have received warnings of a possible attack by Al Qaeda terrorists, Lebanese newspapers reported Wednesday.The daily al-Akhbar, a pro-Syrian newspaper, said the US had warned UN Interim Forces in southern Lebanon Dec 10 of an imminent terrorist attack.

The report quoted an unnamed European diplomatic source as saying the US provided UNIFIL with information that Al Qaeda would probably launch a “suicide attack” against UNIFIL convoys, which led to a state of alert by the peacekeepers, the Lebanese Army and security agencies.

Another pro-Syrian newspaper as-Safir also carried a similar report, saying the Lebanese Army was informed by UNIFIL of the alleged threat.

“Visits to south Lebanon by European officials were called off in light of the threat,” the report said.

However, as-Safir said the alleged terrorist attack would probably be launched during the transition between the George Bush and Barak Obama administrations.

It predicted an operation similar to the Mumbai attacks or the targeting of NATO equipment in Pakistan.

The attack would probably be carried out in the Sidon region, along the seafront, the report said.

Last week, all UNIFIL convoys going to south Lebanon were advised by their command not to pass near the Palestinian camp of Ain el-Hilweh, east of the southern port city of Sidon. The Ain el-Hilweh camp is believed to be the hub of some terrorist networks with close links to al Qaeda.

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