Israeli Attack on Lebanese Army Outpost Leaves 3 Soldiers Asphyxiated

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Sunday, January 18, 2015

Three Lebanese soldiers suffered temporary asphyxiation on Sunday after the Israeli army fired a smoke bomb at a Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) outpost near the border town of Ayta al-Shaab in southern Lebanon, the Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) reported.

Meanwhile, an anonymous assailant tossed a hand grenade at a Lebanese military vehicle in the flashpoint neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh in the northern city of Tripoli.

“Four Israeli vehicles approached Ayta al-Shaab from inside the occupied Palestinian territories near al-Hadab LAF outpost and its troops tossed two tear gas bombs near the technical fence. The leaking smoke and gas seeped towards the outpost causing shortness of breath and respiratory problems for three LAF soldiers," the army said in a statement made public by NNA on Sunday.

Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported on its website that the Lebanese army filed a complaint with United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) following Sunday morning’s incident.

UNIFIL troops arrived to the scene, which is now calm. UNIFIL said it will investigate the incident.

Israel breaches Lebanese sovereignty on a near-daily basis, notably through its use of drones above Lebanon, despite complaints to the United Nations.

Also on Sunday, an Israeli military force carried out a large scale combing mission along the border-line extending between Kfar Shouba heights, al-Abassiya and Wazzani.

This land mission was accompanied by drone overflights across the skies above the occupied Shebaa Farms and Golan Heights. Infantry patrolled the border region between the settlement of Miskaf Am, Ghajar and nearby groves.

On Friday, resistance movement Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel against any “stupid” moves in Lebanon, emphasizing the movement’s increased military capabilities and vowing to retaliate any aggression against the country.

The news comes after an anonymous culprit tossed a hand grenade near a Lebanese military vehicle stationed in al-Jihad stadium in Bab al-Tabbaneh at midnight, NNA field correspondent reported on Sunday, injuring two citizens.

The LAF heightened security measures in the aftermath of the twin suicide bombing last week which claimed the lives of nine civilians and injured more than 50 others in Tripoli. The bombings were the first breach to a security plan implemented in June last year following years of unrest between the neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.

Lebanon's second city Tripoli has seen frequent violence pitting gunmen from Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tebbaneh against each other.

Fighting between the two districts in recent years killed scores of people, many of them civilians caught in the crossfire.

Tripoli has historically attracted Islamist groups, making it a concern for Lebanese security agencies that have warned of plans by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Nusra Front to destabilize the country.

Clashes between extremists and the Lebanese army in October in the country’s restive second city killed 11 Lebanese soldiers and eight civilians.

(NNA, Al-Akhbar)

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