2 Israeli soldiers wounded in Lebanese border explosion

Bomb detonated next to tank on border; Israel responds with heavy shelling; second bomb explodes without casualties

Soldiers at the Israeli - Lebanese border in 2009. (Photo credit: Hamad Almakt / Flash 90)
Soldiers at the Israeli - Lebanese border in 2009. (Photo credit: Hamad Almakt / Flash 90)

Two Israeli soldiers were wounded in an explosion next to a tank near the border with Lebanon Tuesday afternoon, setting off the second border clash in the area in three days.

The two soldiers were injured when an explosive device went off in the Shebaa Farms area, also known as Har Dov, the Israeli army said in a statement.

The army said the bomb was “activated against them during activity along the Israel-Lebanon border.”

“Initial reports indicate that the explosive device was planted with the intent to attack soldiers,” the statement read.

Hezbollah-linked news outlet al-Manar reported that Israel responded by shelling an area next to Kfar Chouba, near the contested Shebaa Farms region on the border. In all, the Israeli army reportedly fired dozens of shells into Lebanese territory.

One soldier was moderately wounded and the second lightly injured, the Ynet news outlet reported. Other Hebrew media reported that the two were lightly wounded.

Hours later, a second bomb went off along the border in the area, but did not cause any casualties.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Israeli military confirmed the retaliatory shelling in Lebanon.

A spokesperson for UNIFIL, the United Nations agency tasked with monitoring the border area, said it was looking into the reports.

The clash came two days after a Lebanese soldier was lightly wounded by Israeli forces in the same area. According to a UNIFIL spokesperson, the soldier, identified by the Lebanese Daily Star as Zakaria Hamza al-Masri, was rushed to the hospital Sunday following the incident near the Shebaa Farms.

The IDF said Sunday that its troops opened fire on “suspects” attempting to cross the border from Lebanon, apparently hitting one and forcing them to retreat. The wounded soldier was patrolling in the southern Lebanese town of Kfar Chouba, about 2 kilometers from the border with Israel, according to the Lebanese Naharnet news outlet.

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