| 02.08,11. 06:44 AM |
Army: Israeli, Lebanese Troops Exchange Fire in Wazzani Area
The Lebanese and Israeli armies exchanged fire in the area of Mountazahat in Wazzani on Monday morning after a Jewish state patrol crossed the U.N.-drawn Blue Line, the Lebanese military said.
Both sides reported no casualties but each blamed the other for the clash.
The Lebanese army command said the incident occurred at around 5:50 am when a 15-member Israeli patrol in the Wazzani area crossed the technical fence and went beyond it about 70 meters.
“Forces stationed in the area confronted it and an exchange of fire occurred,” the communiqué said. The Israeli patrol withdrew from the area at around 7:25 am, it added.
The army said no injuries were reported within the military ranks.
A Lebanese army official also said that troops stationed in the area fired warning shots. "The Israeli patrol retreated and then fired at Lebanese army posts," the official told Agence France Presse
But Israeli military sources accused a Lebanese soldier of opening fire on Israeli troops carrying out work on a border fence.
An Israeli military spokeswoman also told AFP that an Israeli military force “carrying out a routine patrol within Israeli territory near the Israel-Lebanon border was fired upon from the direction of Lebanon."
The exchange of fire continued for several minutes, Voice of Lebanon radio station (93.3) said.
Both sides have challenged the accuracy of the Blue Line in several locations.
The incident led to a state of alert among Lebanese army and UNIFIL troops, which dispatched patrols to the Wazzani area.
Two Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist and a senior Israeli officer were killed in a rare cross-border clash in Adaisseh in August last year, the worst such violence since the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah.