German defense minister visits troops at UN force in Lebanon

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German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius traveled to Lebanon on Thursday to visit German soldiers serving in a UN peacekeeping force in the region in the wake of a major escalation between neighboring Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.

Berlin has deployed some 140 soldiers on a corvette off the Lebanese coast and at the headquarters of the UNIFIL mission in southern Lebanon that was hit by a rocket on Sunday without causing casualties.

“On the corvette Oldenburg, (the minister) thanked the sailors for their efforts and was briefed on the impact the conflict in Israel and Gaza is having on German soldiers in the region,” the defense ministry in Berlin said on the social media platform X, formerly called Twitter.

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UNIFIL has operated in Lebanon since 1978 to maintain peace along the border with Israel and was expanded by the UN resolution that halted the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in southern Lebanon.

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