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Gunfire erupts on Israel-Lebanon border

Story Highlights

• Lebanese troops fire on Israeli soldiers along the Israel-Lebanon border
• Israeli troops were hunting for explosives when the gunfire erupted
• Gunfire started when Israeli army bulldozer crossed technical fence, U.N. says
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BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Lebanese army troops fired Wednesday on Israeli troops hunting for explosives along the Israel-Lebanon border, Lebanese army and Israeli military sources said.

A U.N. official confirmed the exchange Thursday.

"In a serious incident last night, the Lebanese army and IDF (Israel Defense Forces) exchanged fire across the Blue Line in the area of Maroun a-Rus," said U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) spokesman Milos Strugar.

"The exchange was initiated by the Lebanese army after an IDF bulldozer crossed the technical fence in an apparent attempt to clear the area between the technical fence and the Blue Line of mines."

In their account of the incident, Israeli military sources said their troops were at the border near Avivim when the Lebanese troops fired into the air.

The Israelis warned them to stop, but the Lebanese forces fired at the Israelis, the military sources said. The Israelis responded with "accurate fire" and warned them again to stop.

The Israelis had no information about casualties.

Lebanese army sources said their troops fired at an Israeli bulldozer that had crossed the Blue Line into Lebanese territory in Maroun a-Rus about 10:30 p.m. There was an exchange of fire, they said, but there were no casualties on the Lebanese side.

The situation on the border is "very tense," the Lebanese sources said.


Israeli soldiers take up position near the border village of Avivim on Thursday.




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