Lebanon troops back at post after Israel border shooting

Shooting on Sunday marks first time in more than three years that an Israeli soldier had been killed along Lebanon’s border

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Lebanese troops returned to their guard post close to Israel on Monday, a day after Israel said one of its soldiers was killed by cross-border gunfire, a Lebanese army source said.

Three soldiers were back on their post at Ras al-Naqoura, around 500 meters from the armistice border that separates Israel and Lebanon, an Agence France-Presse reporter confirmed.

Earlier on Monday, the Israeli army shot at two Lebanese, after accusing Lebanese troops of shooting one of its soldiers as he drove near the frontier.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Sunday’s shooter was thought to be “a Lebanese soldier.”

A Lebanese army source said that they were investigating Sunday’s incident.”

The shooting marks the first time in more than three years that an Israeli soldier had been killed along Lebanon’s border.

“The Israel Defense Forces officially confirms that an IDF soldier was shot while driving along the Israeli-Lebanese border, near Rosh Hanikra [Ras Naqoura],” read a statement released early Monday, according to AFP.

“The soldier was treated at the scene and was then evacuated to a hospital. He later died of his wounds.”

“Initial enquiry confirmed that the sniper is a member of the Lebanese Armed Forces,” the statement read.

But a Lebanese security source told local media that the Israeli soldier was killed after an Israeli army unit attempted to cross the border in Ras Naqoura.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) spokesman Andrea Tinenti said that his force was informed about a “serious” border incident and was trying to establish the facts.

“The situation is ongoing and the UNIFIL force commander is in contact with counterparts, urging restraint,” he told AFP.

Sporadic exchanges of fire with Syrians across the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights since the eruption of Syria’s civil war have occurred but incidents on the Lebanese border have been rare since Israel’s 2006 war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Israel occupied large strips of Lebanon from 1978 to 2000. Lebanon and Israel are officially in a state of war.

UNIFIL deployed at the border separating the two countries after a bloody war in 2006 that in just over a month killed some 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

(With AFP)

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