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UN peacekeepers die in Lebanon air crash

A United Nations helicopter on a training mission crashed yesterday in the Israeli-occupied area of southern Lebanon, killing all five peacekeepers on board, including an Irish soldier, security officials said.

The machine came down shortly after taking off from an Irish-manned observation post at Atiri, bound for another UN-operated position nearby. The four other men to die were understood to be Italian crew members of the helicopter. The dead Irish soldier was named by the Irish Defence Forces in Dublin as Sergeant John Lynch, 34, who was married with two children, and lived in Newbridge, Co Kildare. Sgt Lynch had been in Lebanon since last October, on his fourth Lebanon tour.

He was on a night-time training flight with the Italian helicopter when it suddenly lost altitude and crashed into a valley. There was an explosion on impact, and all five men on board were killed. AP - Tyre