UN to set up inquiry of peacekeeper’s death in south Lebanon


UNITED NATIONS, United States – The United Nations will set up a board of inquiry to investigate the death a week ago of a Spanish peacekeeper during an exchange of fire on the Israeli-Lebanon border, a senior UN official said Wednesday.

Spain has said the 36-year-old corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo was killed by Israeli fire during a skirmish between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters on January 28.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned “in the strongest terms” the killing of the peacekeeper and said it awaited the results of a fact-finding report by the UN force in south Lebanon, UNIFIL, on the incident.

That report should be presented to the council in the coming days, said the UN official, but a separate broader inquiry will also be established to look into the death.

“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.

This video surfaced on the internet last Friday to show last week’s incident near the Lebanese border where a Spanish UN peacekeeper was killed in the crossfire between Israel Defense Forces and Hezbollah.

“These were violations (of ceasefire accords), but we need to know more,” he said.

Spain’s ambassador the United Nations, Roman Oyarzun, had called for a full inquiry to establish who was responsible for the death of the peacekeeper.