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Lebanese, Israeli soldiers exchange fire over border

08-01-2011 22:24 BJT

BEIRUT/JERUSALEM, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese Army opened fire at a group of Israeli soldiers that crossed the border Blue Line into Lebanon in the Wazzani area early Monday, a security source told Xinhua.

The source said the six Israeli soldiers, who had crossed into Lebanon, fired at the Lebanese army post in response. No casualties were reported.

The Lebanese military sent reinforcement to the Wazzani area soon after the incident and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) circulated extensive patrols, said the source.

The security source said the situation along the Lebanese- Israeli border was back to normal.

A similar border altercation between the Lebanese and Israeli armies in July 2010 claimed the lives of six people, most of them Lebanese.

Israeli military sources said "The Israeli soldiers, who were on a regular patrol along the border," came under fire from the Lebanese army, and returned fire, the IDF Spokesman's Office told Xinhua.

There were no injuries among the Israeli troops.

Lebanese media at first reported that one soldier had been killed in the exchange, which they said took place at about 7:00 am, but later reported that a soldier had only been wounded.

Some 15 Israeli troops crossed 50 meters into Lebanese territory, prompting LAF troops to fire warning shots at the Israeli patrol, according to the reports.

The IDF Spokesman, however, said that "troops remained on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, and did not cross into Lebanese territory."

Israel filed a complain with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) over the event, which took place at the northern end of the Galilee panhandle, and the UN body reportedly streamed forces to the area.

The incident was the first of its kind since an LAF sniper shot and killed an IDF battalion commander almost exactly a year ago in the same area.

Three LAF soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed by Israeli return fire in that incident.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: Xinhua

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