Eight convicted in UNIIFIL conspiracy

Other News Materials 21 June 2009 06:53 (UTC +04:00)

A military court in Lebanon has convicted eight people over a plot to attack the United Nation's peace keepers in the southern regions of the county, Press TV reported.

Five of those tried were in custody and were each sentenced to three year in prison. The other three, who remain at large, were tried in absentia and were given life sentences Friday, an official speaking on condition anonymity told AP.

Ever since deployment the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has come under several attacks in the deadliest of which, six Spanish troops were killed in a car bomb blast in June 2007.

The attacks are usually not claimed by any group; however, al-Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahri, has prasied a number of the incidents.

In an audio message in 2008, Zawahri called on the extremists to fight "the invading Crusaders who pretend to be peacekeeping forces in Lebanon."

He also denounced the UNSC Resolution 1701, which was released to end the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon.

The resolution also called for the peacekeeping force to be deployed in southern Lebanon to prevent further attacks by Israel. Currently there are some13,000 international troops stationed along the border in Lebanon.

The eight convicted on Friday were also found guilty of establishing an armed group aimed at weakening the Beirut government, as well as transporting military arms and explosives and training to carry out terror attacks, the court official said.