Shatter says Ireland will probe UNIFIL soldier’s deaths


DUBLIN, Ireland (JTA) — Ireland will conduct an independent review into the deaths of three Irish soldiers whose vehicle was blown up on a United Nations mission in Lebanon.

Alan Shatter, Ireland’s defense minister, announced the new inquiry April 8.

The soldiers, part of a UNIFIL detachment, died in 1989 after their truck ran over a landmine believed to have been planted by Hezbollah and intended for Israeli vehicles.

The soldiers’ families are suing the Irish state for compensation. An Irish army inquiry found no negligence in the deaths.

Shatter, Ireland’s only Jewish national politician and a major parliamentary defender of Israel, is sending 400 Irish troops to south Lebanon at the end of the month for the first time in 10 years.

Forty-seven Irish soldiers were killed during a 23-year deployment with UNIFIL, which ended in 2001 after Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon.

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