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Ireland praises arrest of Detroit-area man it calls suspect in UN peacekeepers' killings

Federal agents have arrested a man the Irish government calls a suspect in the abduction, torture and killing of two Irish United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon 34 years ago.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday arrested Mahmoud Bazzi at his home in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.

Spokeswoman Gillian Christensen says it arrested Bazzi for "immigration violations," adding that the government "is committed to rooting out alleged human rights violators who seek a safe haven in the United States."

Bazzi has denied killing Derek Smallhorne and Thomas Barrett, telling the Detroit Free Press he once falsely confessed to the slayings because he feared a Lebanese militia would kill him unless he lied.

Irish Defense Secretary Simon Coveney welcomes Bazzi's arrest and says his government has continually pursued the case.

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