Lebanon News

‘Drunk’ Austrian UNIFIL peacekeeper falls to death in Tyre

File - U.N. peacekeepers sit atop an armored personnel carrier during a patrol in the southern port city of Tyre, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON, Lebanon: An Austrian national working in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon fell to his death Wednesday in the southern city of Tyre, a security source said.

The body of Peter Sieman was found outside a building after he fell from the 11th floor of the structure, the source said, adding that he may have hit electrical wires before crashing to the ground.

The state-run National News Agency quoted Sieman’s girlfriend as saying he had jumped from the Shahine building while under the influence of alcohol.

UNIFIL confirmed the death of Sieman, saying he worked as the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization military observer and that he died after falling from a balcony of a building in Tyre, where he was residing.

“The circumstances of the incident are under investigation in close cooperation with the Lebanese authorities,” UNIFIL said in a statement.

UNIFIL Force Commander Maj. Gen. Paolo Serra and UNTSO Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Michael Finn expressed their deepest condolences to the Austrian government and to the family of Sieman, according to the statement.

UNIFIL described him as a well-respected and dedicated peacekeeper actively working to support the force’s mandate under Security Council Resolution 1701.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 06, 2014, on page 3.




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