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Seán Rooney: Arrest made after Irish soldier killed in Lebanon

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    19 hours ago

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At least one arrest has been made in Lebanon after an Irish soldier died while on a UN peacekeeping mission.

Pte Seán Rooney was in an armoured UN vehicle which came under fire while travelling to Beirut on 14 December.

Several arrests were made, the influential pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reports.


According to AFP news agency, quoting an unnamed security source, the prime suspect was handed over by the powerful Hezbollah militant group.

“The main shooter has been arrested by security forces after Hezbollah handed him over hours ago,” the source said.

Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the shooting. It is not clear whether the suspect is a member of the militant group.

The village where Pte Rooney was killed is a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement.

Three separate investigations are being conducted into the incident by the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, Lebanese authorities led by a military prosecutor and the Irish Defence Forces.

Image source, PA Media

It is understood the vehicle was surrounded by a mob and fired on while travelling to Beirut at about 21:00 on 14 December.

Pte Rooney was repatriated to Ireland last Monday following a UN ceremony to honour him in Beirut the previous day.

Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar were among mourners present at Pte Rooney’s funeral service in County Louth on Thursday.

Another soldier who was seriously injured in the same attack was returned home to the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.

Trooper Shane Kearney, who suffered a head injury, was flown by a medical aircraft from Beirut Airport to Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, then taken to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

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