Last updated: 9 December, 2011

Lebanon blast hurts 5 French UN troops and 1 civilian

A powerful roadside bomb struck a UN peacekeeping patrol in the Lebanese coastal town of Tyre on Friday, wounding five French soldiers and a civilian, a security official said.

The official, who requested anonymity, said the bomb was hidden under dirt on the side of the road and was detonated as the soldiers were driving by in a Jeep at an intersection in the eastern part of the southern town.

Two of the wounded soldiers were taken to hospital while the three others — a woman and two men — were seen by an AFP correspondent standing by their badly damaged vehicle with bandages on their heads.

One of them had a bloodied face.

It was unclear how badly injured the Lebanese civilian was.

The blast left a one-metre (three-foot) deep crater.

Security forces cordoned off the area as hundreds of onlookers gathered nearby.

A spokesman for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) could not be immediately reached for comment.

Last July, five French UNIFIL troops soldiers were wounded, one of them seriously, in a similar attack in the southern coastal town of Sidon.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack.