A family of Shiite Moslem villagers in southern Lebanon yesterday claimed responsibility for the murder of two Irish soldiers serving with the United Nations peacekeeping force and declared a blood feud, bowing to kill any more Irish troops they might capture.
"We killed the Irish soldiers in revenge for the death of our brother . . . whom they shot in cold blood last week," said Mohamoud Bazi, a Shiite Moslem villager whose brother died last week in a clash between U.N. forces and the Israeli-backed Christian militia of Maj. Saad Haddad.
"If we capture other Irishmen, they will suffer the same fate, and this will go on until there is an official reconciliation," he added.
Bazi spoke to reporters in the village square as Haddad looked on. Haddad has denied that his militia was responsible for the killings of the Irish soldiers.
In Dublin, the Irish govenment proposed an early meeting of countries with troops in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon to discuss the safety of the forces.
Along with Ireland, UNIFIL includes contingents from the Netherlands, Norway, Nigeria, Fiji and Nepal.
Foreign Minister Brian Lenihan said after an emergency Cabinet meeting that there was no question of Ireland withdrawing its 700-member contingent from Lebanon.