Israeli soldiers set Lebanese forest on fire after four soldiers injured by landmine
Published Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Updated at 6:00pm: Israeli forces set fire to woodlands in South Lebanon near the border, the Lebanese Wednesday National News Agency reported.
Civil defense and Lebanese army units were working on extinguishing the fire in Houla, the NNA added.
The blaze was started after four Israeli soldiers were injured by a landmine after having crossed into Lebanese territory.
"As a new violation of the Lebanese sovereignty, a pedestrian patrol belonging to the Israeli enemy breached the Blue Line at the Labboneh border area, for a distance of 400 meters inside the Lebanese territory, and during the infiltration, an explosion occurred and injured a number of the patrol elements," a Lebanese army command statement read.
"Afterwards, the [Lebanese] army units deployed in the region mobilized and took the necessary field measures, while a special military commission of the Lebanese army took charge of the investigation into the circumstances of the incident and the type of the explosion, in coordination with the UNIFIL," it added.
An Israeli military spokesman told AFP that the Israeli troops were "carrying out nocturnal activities in the Lebanese border area when the explosion occurred," adding that the wounded had been hospitalized.
South Lebanon is riddled with tens of thousands of landmines and cluster bombs, many of whom were placed there by Israeli forces at the end of Israel’s occupation of the region in 2000 and during the July 2006 war.
Israel’s army regularly violates Lebanese sovereignty, crossing over the blue line demarcating the disputed border between Lebanon and Palestine, as well as sending war planes over Lebanese territory.
On Tuesday, Lebanon’s army registered two violations of the Lebanese airspace, as four Israeli planes flew over the northern city of Tripoli, the NNA reported.