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United Nations - The UN Security Council expressed concern on Tuesday about fallout from the Syria conflict in neighboring Lebanon, diplomats said.
Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees have fled across the border and the Lebanese army has moved troops from the border zone with Israel to the Syrian frontier region, where there have been deadly incidents in recent weeks, UN officials said.
The 15-nation Security Council was preparing a statement on events following consultations on Lebanon, diplomats said. But UN envoy to Lebanon Derek Plumbly said “people are very worried about the impact of the crisis and the tension that surrounds it.”
There was “concern about the pressures on the Lebanese border in recent weeks, incursions and shooting across the border,” he told reporters after the closed talks.
Plumbly said, however, that there was “strong support” for the political efforts by government leaders “to protect Lebanon from the worst effects of the crisis.”
UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said that because of the new security concerns, the Lebanese army had moved some units from the southern region that it patrols with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Ladsous told reporters the Lebanese army aimed to move the units back once the crisis was over or it would rearrange its assets if there was an “emergency situation.”
Israel launched an invasion of southern Lebanon in 2006 in a bid to disarm the Hezbollah militia, which is closely allied to Syria, but the region has been relatively calm in recent months.
The Lebanese government decided to reinforce the Syrian border at the start of July after a series of deadly attacks.
Two girls were killed in one cross border incident. There was more shelling across the frontier on Monday followed by gunfire, security officials said. - Sapa-AFP