Friday, 19 December 2008

Israel seizes 2 men

The AFP newsagency reports:

Israeli soldiers captured two Lebanese civilians on a raid across the border into southern Lebanon on Friday, a Lebanese security official said.

Tarraf Tarraf and his brother Hassan Tarraf, both aged about 50, were taken on Lebanese territory near the border village of Blida, the official said.

Negotiations are under way between the Israeli soldiers and Unifil (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) to free the men, he said.

An Israeli army spokesman said the two men were arrested on Friday morning when they "crossed the border."

Israeli forces have informed Unifil that "they have in custody two Lebanese civilians that appear to be from the area of Blida," Unifil spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane told AFP.

"Unifil is in contact with all parties urging them to exercise restraint while the circumstances of the incident are assertained," she said, without commenting on where the Lebanese official said the capture took place.

In July, a Lebanese shepherd was captured by Israeli soldiers before being handed over to Unifil after a few hours.

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