Attack That Killed UNIFIL Peacekeeper In Lebanon Was Reportedly Planned & They Identified The Suspects

Private Sean Rooney | Holly McConnellogue

Authorities in Lebanon have identified suspects in the shooting attack that killed 24-year-old Irish United Nations peacekeeper Private Sean Rooney and injured three others on December 14.

Private Sean Rooney

The attack took place near the village of Al-Aqbiya in Lebanon’s south, an area known to be a stronghold of Hezbollah.

A judicial official has stated that the investigation has identified suspects, but so far none have been arrested and the security services are still searching for them.

According to the official, the attack appeared to be premeditated and the UN patrol had been followed and monitored by a car carrying armed men.

One of the injured peacekeepers, 23-year-old Shane Kearney, has been medevaced to Ireland for emergency surgery to treat head injuries.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was established in 1978 to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli forces after they invaded Lebanon. The force acts as a buffer between Lebanon and Israel and operates near the southern border.

Hezbollah has spread a narrative against the UNIFIL and their followers regularly falsely claim they are “spying for Israel.”

The attack on the UNIFIL vehicle has prompted calls for a swift investigation by the mission. It was the first death of a UNIFIL member during a violent incident in nearly eight years.

The mission has stressed the importance of ensuring the safety and security of its personnel, who play a crucial role in maintaining stability and peace in the region.

Private Rooney was set to marry his fiancée Holly McConnellogue next year. Just before the attack, they spoke on the phone to mark their 3-year anniversary from when they first met.

Sean Rooney and fiancée Holly McConnellogue

Holly shared how he took the opportunity to go to Lebanon on his second overseas tour and described him as someone who “always put other people before himself.”

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