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United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
24 July 2006
UNITED NATIONS INTERIM FORCE IN LEBANON
24 July 2006
Heavy exchanges of fire continued along the length of the Blue Line in the
last 24 hours, with somewhat reduced intensity in the eastern sector.
Hezbollah fired rockets from various locations, and the IDF continued the
shelling and aerial bombardment. The IDF maintained its presence on the
ground inside Lebanese territory in the area of Marun Al Ras in the central
sector, and somewhat advanced north of the village in the direction of Bint
Jubayl. Their presence in this area was significantly reinforced during the
night and this morning with a number of tanks and armored personnel
carriers. Exchanges of fire were reported in the same area yesterday
afternoon and this morning.
One unarmed UN military observer, a member of the Observer Group
Lebanon (OGL), was seriously wounded by small arms fire in the patrol base
in the Marun Al Ras area yesterday afternoon. According to preliminary
reports, the fire originated from the Hezbollah side during an exchange with
the IDF. He was evacuated by the UN to the Israeli side, from where he was
taken by an IDF ambulance helicopter to a hospital in Haifa. He was operated
on, and his condition is now reported as stable.
There were nine other incidents of firing close to UN positions during the past
24 hours, with two positions suffering direct hits from the Israeli side. Two
aerial bombs impacted inside the Ghanaian battalion headquarters in the
area of Tibnin, and three mortar rounds impacted inside an Indian battalion
position in the Adaisseh area, causing extensive damage to the buildings and
vehicles in both cases, but no casualties. Four aerial bombs impacted in the
immediate vicinity of a Ghanaian position in the area of Brashit, and eleven
tank rounds impacted in the immediate vicinity of a Ghanaian battalion
position in the Rmaich area causing significant material damage.
All UNIFIL positions in the area of operation remain permanently occupied
and maintained by the troops. A number of positions, including forward
positions in the eastern sector, were re-supplied yesterday. Some additional
re-supply convoys to the forward positions are planned for today. UNIFIL is
still facing serious restrictions in its freedom of movement due to the ongoing
hostilities and extensive destruction of roads and bridges throughout the area
of operation. A key road artery between Tyre and Naqoura has been heavily
bombed, and traffic along this road is not possible at the moment. UNIFIL
Engineering Contingent is attempting to make some repairs and open the
road for traffic today.
UNIFIL carried out a medical evacuation of one person from Alma Ash Shab
to the UNIFIL hospital in Naqoura, yesterday. Four wounded civilians from
Shihin were also evacuated early today to the UNIFIL hospital in Naqoura.
Some local civilians from the village of El Mari were evacuated today by
UNIFIL to Ibil as Saqi, and bread was distributed to the inhabitants of Al
Jibbayn. UNIFIL attempted to escort trucks with humanitarian assistance
provided by CARITAS from Hasbayya to Rmaich, but the condition of the road
south of Hasbayya was impassable for heavy trucks. UNIFIL is dispatching
medical teams and aid to the eastern sector today.