International troops among injured in Beirut blasts that shook Lebanon

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International troops serving in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon are among those injured by the massive explosion that hit Beirut’s port on Tuesday.

Bangladesh’s military says at least 21 Bangladesh Navy members of the multinational force in Beirut were injured. The military’s Inter-Service Public Relations Office says one of the injured is in critical condition and had been admitted to the American University of Beirut Medical Center. Bangladesh Navy members have been working in Lebanon with the U.N. force since 2010 to prevent entry of illegal arms and ammunition.


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Separately, Italy’s defense minister, Lorenzo Guerini, says one soldier assigned to Italy’s contingent in Lebanon is injured. Guerini also offers the help of Italian forces serving in the U.N. mission. Italy is the second largest contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon after Indonesia, with 1,021 troops deployed.

Pope Francis has offered prayers for the victims, their families, and for Lebanon after the enormous explosion in Beirut’s port on Tuesday. At least 100 people were killed and thousands injured.

The pontiff appealed that “through the dedication of all the social, political and religious elements,” Lebanon “might face this extremely tragic and painful moment and, with the help of the international community, overcome the grave crisis they are experiencing.”

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