Second Israeli spying device said uncovered in south Lebanon
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Second Israeli spying device said uncovered in south Lebanon

Lebanese media report new finding after Tuesday report of a separate device detonated by Israel near Marjayoun

A device concealed in an artificial rock in the southern Lebanese town of Bani Hayyan. According to the Lebanese Army, the device is an Israeli surveillance camera. (screen capture: Lebanese Armed Forces Facebook page)
A device concealed in an artificial rock in the southern Lebanese town of Bani Hayyan. According to the Lebanese Army, the device is an Israeli surveillance camera. (screen capture: Lebanese Armed Forces Facebook page)

Lebanese media outlets reported Wednesday that the Lebanese army has identified a second Israeli spying device in as many days.

The news site Elnashra said soldiers sweeping an area in southern Lebanon in which a purported Israeli listening device exploded on Tuesday located a new device, which was identified by other media outlets as an Israeli espionage installation.

Israel remotely detonated a spying device planted in southern Lebanon, injuring at least two people in the explosion, Lebanese outlets claimed Tuesday. The device was discovered by construction workers near the town of Marjayoun, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Israel’s northern border, according to the Al Mayadeen news outlet.

State media said the small blast was from a local criminal matter, but Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV and most other media outlets said the explosion was from an Israeli listening device that detonated as a bulldozer and construction crew fixing a nearby road approached.

Lebanese Armed Forces were called to the scene and opened an investigation into the incident.

An Israeli military spokesperson said in response the Israel Defense Forces “does not respond to foreign reports of this kind.”

The incident came weeks after UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force along the Israel-Lebanese border, handed over one of its local employees to Beirut security services after he was accused of spying for Israel.

Lebanese officials have claimed to find Israeli listening devices in Lebanon before, including one earlier this year, and two in 2010 that were found hidden in rocks.

In October, Lebanese soldiers claimed to have found a rock concealing an Israeli spying device in the town of Bani Hayyan, around 4 kilometers (2 miles) from the border with Israel.

Local media at the time reported the device was found in an area that “used to host an Israeli post during [Israel’s] occupation of Lebanon.”

Israel withdrew from the so-called South Lebanon Security Belt — a strip of land several kilometers wide along the Lebanese-Israeli border on Lebanon’s side — in a hastily organized operation in May 2000, after maintaining a presence there since the First Lebanon War in 1982.

In 2014, Hezbollah claimed an Israeli army drone blew up a spying device after it was uncovered near Tyre. One person was killed in that incident, according to Lebanese reports.

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