04 August 2010
Lebanese and Israeli troops exchanged fire on the border on Tuesday, leaving one Israeli and two Lebanese soldiers, as well as a Lebanese journalist, dead. The clashes were the most serious since the Second Lebanon War four years ago, authorities said. Israel said the fighting broke out as soldiers tried to prune a tree whose branches were tripping an electric fence on a road 80 metres south of the actual border with Lebanon. The IDF said its soliders had been inside Israeli territory when it came under fire from regular Lebanese troops. The Israelis retaliated with artillery fire, the officials said.
Following the skirmish further casualties were reported after a pre-dawn Israeli airstrike. The IDF said it had fired after seeing a group of men approach the border. One man was killed and another injured. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: "Israel has responded and shall respond aggressively in the future to any attempt to disrupt the calm along the northern border or to harm residents of the north or the soldiers protecting them."
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah told his supporters in a video message: "I say honestly, that in any place where the Lebanese army will be assaulted and there is a presence for the resistance, and it is capable, the resistance will not stand silent, or quiet or restrained."
After the 2006 war, the United Nations deployed a 12,000-member peacekeeping force (UNIFIL) in the border area. The United Nations urged both sides to exercise "maximum restraint."
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