KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 – Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin has confirmed that Malaysian peacekeepers in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) are safe, following reports that a UNIFIL armoured vehicle has been detained by local residents.

Mohamed Khaled said this briefly when contacted by Bernama news agency, adding that further details would be issued in a statement later.

According to Lebanese media reports, the UNIFIL armoured vehicle allegedly carrying peacekeepers from Malaysia is believed to have been detained by residents and handed over to Hezbollah fighters in the Hay al-Sellom area of Dahiyeh, south of Beirut, recently.

The Defence Security Asia (DSA) portal, citing Lebanese media, reported that the area in question is outside the UNIFIL operational area.

The Arabic-language news portal, Lubnan Al-Modon, also released a video showing the situation inside the UNIFIL armoured vehicle, including the words ‘Cendana Auto’ on the vehicle’s steering wheel and several personal items of the peacekeepers.

At the time of writing, Bernama was still trying to obtain confirmation from the Joint Forces Command, which coordinates the needs in operations and missions under the United Nations.


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