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Israel says located second 'Hezbollah' tunnel from Lebanon

AFP  |  Jerusalem 

Israel's said Saturday it had located another tunnel crossing into its territory from Lebanon, the second such find since launching an operation to expose and destroy alleged "attack tunnels".

"The has located an additional cross-border attack tunnel," said, refusing to give details on its precise location or dimensions.

"The tunnel crosses into Israel, like the first tunnel it is not yet operational and does not pose an imminent threat to Israeli communities," he said in a briefing with journalists.

On Tuesday, the launched an operation dubbed "Northern Shield" to destroy tunnels it said were dug under the border by the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, sharing images of one found near the Israeli town of

Conricus said Saturday that the had placed explosives in the newly exposed tunnel to prevent its use as a means to infiltrate Israel, but had not yet destroyed it.

He said the had issued warnings in Arabic to residents of to stay away.

Following the army's announcement, said that the operation to track the tunnels "is in its beginning".

"We'll continue to act till its completion," he said in a statement. Conricus said the military was aware of a third tunnel leading from into

Despite not having its exact location, he said asked UNIFIL, the UN mission monitoring the border region, to "take action and block the tunnel on the Lebanese side".

The announcement of the new find came after Israeli soldiers on Saturday opened fire at what they perceived to be three "activists" approaching the border near Yiftah, south of Metula, where the army was carrying out engineering work.

Conricus said the army believed the three individuals intended to take sensors the Israeli soldiers had placed in the ground as part of their efforts to uncover tunnels.

Lebanon's official agency said Israeli forces fired shots in the air east of the village of Mays Al-Jabal after they had been surprised because of heavy fog by a routine patrol.

Also Saturday, the Kremlin said Netanyahu called Russian Vladimir Putin, whose forces are fighting on the same side as Hezbollah in Syria, to tell him about the tunnel operation.

Putin "stressed the need to ensure stability along the line separating and Lebanon", the said.

Netanyahu's office said he reiterated in the call "Israel's policy to prevent the establishment of an Iranian presence in and to act against Iranian and Hezbollah aggression".

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in against what it says are Iranian military targets and deliveries of advanced arms to Hezbollah.

However, a friendly fire incident in in September that led to the downing of a Russian plane by Syrian air defences during an Israeli strike has complicated Israeli operations.

Iran-backed Hezbollah is the only group in not to have disarmed after the country's 1975-1990 civil war.

Israel fought a war against Hezbollah in 2006 that was halted by a UN-brokered truce.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 09 2018. 00:10 IST
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