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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

4 IDF soldiers wounded in explosion on Lebanese border

Four IDF soldiers were wounded, two moderately and two lightly, in an explosion on the Lebanese border on Tuesday night. The IDF has not released details of the incident, but the Lebanese Army is claiming that the soldiers were across the border.
The Lebanese Army said the troops were inside Lebanese territory when the blast occurred. A statement from the L.A.F. said that, in a "violation of Lebanese sovereignty", an Israeli infantry patrol crossed the UN-designated "blue line" between the two countries and moved 400 meters (yards) inside Lebanese territory.
"During the infiltration, an explosion occurred which led to a number of them being wounded," the Lebanese military said, adding it was investigating the circumstances of the blast in coordination with UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon.
A Lebanese security source told Reuters that the incident may have taken place north of the border fence which separates Israeli and Lebanese forces, but on the Israeli side of a UN-designated "blue line" between the two countries.
He said the soldiers may have been wounded by a mine.
Another security source said the explosion was 150 meters (yards) south of the blue line.
Asked about the incident, Andrea Teneti, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, said he had "no information in relation to our mandate of operations", and he described the situation as calm.
Israel Hayom adds:

The IDF did not say what the cause of the explosion was and would not elaborate on whether the incident was combat-related or a training accident. According to the Lebanese state-run National News Agency, a landmine explosion struck the soldiers' patrol, which crossed into Lebanon's southern border and advanced 150 meters inside the Lebanese border village of Labbouneh.
Israel Radio said the soldiers were part of an elite military unit, adding that large military forces were deployed to the area following the blast.
The soldiers were evacuated to a hospital in Nahariya for treatment. According to a Walla News report, three of the wounded soldiers were being operated on, while the fourth was admitted to the intensive care unit. Israel Radio quoted the hospital director as saying that all four soldiers arrived at the hospital conscious, and all had suffered shrapnel injuries.

The An Nahar Lebanese newspaper reported that the blast occurred when IDF troops crossed over the border about 150 meters into Lebanese territory. Lebanese TV said the soldiers were hit by a landmine when they were inside Lebanese territory. Hezbollah-associated Almayadeen network reported that the four soldiers were wounded by an explosive device while they were six meters inside Lebanese territory over the Blue Line.
The Voice of Lebanon radio station reported Wednesday that residents of south Lebanon reported hearing the sounds of strong explosions early Wednesday morning near the Israeli border area of Nakura [Rosh Hanikra]. According to the radio report, shortly after the explosion, Israeli troops fired flares into the night sky. The Lebanese radio station said that units of the Lebanese Armed Forces were conducting joint patrols with UNIFIL in the area.

Lebanon (or Hezbullah) has apparently mined the area that is immediately across the border - something that needs to be borne in mind when we need to cross the border in the future. 

Refuah Shleima (a full and speedy recovery) to the soldiers who were hurt.

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