[QODLink]
Middle East

Israeli soldier killed near Lebanon border

Cross-border gunfire leaves one soldier dead, says Israeli military.

Last updated: 15 Dec 2013 23:14
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

An Israeli soldier has been killed in cross-border gunfire near the Lebanese border, the Israeli military has said.

Gunfire was exchanged near the village of Naqoura, at around 8:30pm on Sunday night.

Sources on both sides say the shooting originated from the Lebanese side of the border, but it remains unclear what the target of the shooting was, after Israel initially claimed a civilian vehicle had been shot at.

"A sniper from Lebanese Armed Forces opened fire at a civilian vehicle travelling on the Israeli side," an Israeli army spokesperson said, without giving details of any casualties.

"We will not tolerate aggression against the state of Israel and maintain the right to exercise self-defence."

There was no immediate confirmation of an armed Israeli response, and it is not yet known what prompted the shooting - despite local media speculation that Israeli troops had crossed the border.

Lebanese sources told Reuters said they had lost contact with the Lebanese soldier after the shooting, which took place at the western tip of the border region, across which Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in 2006. There was suspicion that the sniper was being held by Israeli troops, reported Israeli daily Haaretz.

The UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon said they had been informed about "a serious incident" at the border.

"We are now trying to determine the facts of what happened and the situation is ongoing," UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said.

"UNIFIL's force commander is in contact with counterparts in the Lebanese and Israeli army, urging restraint."

Tenenti said that both sides were cooperating with UNIFIL after the incident, which he said appeared to have happened on the Israeli side of the Blue Line which divides Lebanese and Israeli forces.

In August, four Israeli soldiers on patrol were wounded in a blast 400 metres inside Lebanese territory, Lebanon's army and a UN peacekeeper in the border region said.

316

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
join our mailing list