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Three Austrian Soldiers with UN Force to Be Tried on Charges of Smuggling Explosives to PLO

Three soldiers serving with the Austrian contingent of the United Nations observers force on the Golan Heights will be tried by Austrian military authorities shortly on charges of smuggling explosives from Syria to Palestine Liberation Organization members in Israel, it was learned here today.

The Austrian Defense Ministry was quoted here as saying that Austria’s UN unit should not be blamed for the actions of one or two of its members. But the officer in command will be charged with failure to maintain discipline, Israel Radio reported.

According to the reports, an Austrian Sergeant-Major of Turkish origin and two other soldiers were arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs. During the ensuing investigation in their unit, they were found to have received explosives from Syrian agents in Damascus. These were concealed in the spare wheels of UN vehicles and brought into Israel where they were delivered to and paid for by local PLO members.